A Righteous Balance In Living
|Materialism and agnosticism
joined to a patronizing
self-righteousness are prevalent moods. The bleak Christlessness
of the main line churches produce people indifferent
Politics has largely replaced religion as the faith of most. Most are then insensate to spiritual values, living one dimensional materialistic lives. They think politics will solve all problems. Maybe some, but not all.
The sick television soaked mind of modern man believes that wisdom is self-indulgence. Many feel leadings lives of materialism gratifying shallow pleasures is the way to go. And politics gets them there. Politics helps but not that much. You cannot legislate goodness by a political system. Goodness is a personal thing that must come from the heart. Politics has become a demonic melodrama where proposed impossibilities are debated as if realities did not exist. No matter who wins, in politics, all will be disappointed ultimately.
The fact remains you cannot legislate goodness. A people devoted to leading lives of selfish self-gratification cannot spread goodness or integrity. You may teach principles but you can’t force application of them. Ideals are like germs: you catch them from carriers. You can pass knowledge on, but the application of that knowledge is a personal decision.
Nor is THE HIGHEST TYPE OF PERSONAL HAPPINESS to be found in personal gratification. Ask any parent. Sacrifice and satisfaction come from nurturing others, sometimes suffering for others. Personal gratification can carry you only so far. Hell is having no one to share with and no one to do for.
Loving others carries or wakes within us a constructive Christ force. It awakens a Christ force within us. Living only For SELF awakens and encourages self-destructive impulses. You can get too much of a good thing. An excess of self calls up an excess of evil called selfishness.
Now I do not say ONLY consider others. But you will be ultimately ugly if considering only yourself. And I do not say never consider yourself. Learn the balance of godliness which is righteousness. I repeat: learn the balance of interests which is righteous living: the balance of self and others.
Christ did not come to abolish the world but fulfill the world. That is to guide and teach and redeem. To spiritualize the world is the aim of Christ. He came to give us life more abundantly which is finding a balance in godly and righteous living. That is the Good Life.
Today the television soaked modern mind tends only to see love in the sense of “eros.” (sexual love) Real living is seen as buying things. What nonsense! Lives are then spent in grubbling for things advertised in magazines. The idea is to fulfill and gratify yourself through commercial piggery.
To see life as gratifying yourself through things is a false emphasis that may ruin all chances of happiness. Materialism is one low level of living. It is for spiritual barbarians who have not grown up into spiritually awakened and civilized persons.
Materialism is only the first step in living. Then get up and go up from there. There is nothing wrong in attaining goods, but it is sad not to go further. “The Kingdom of God is within you.” It awaits up the stairs. You must go higher than mere materialism. Seek the Kingdom inside. Discover grace outside. But do not be a case of arrested development in the spiritual evolution of mankind.
Jesus said in Matthew 6:33 “Seek ye first the Kingdom of God, and His righteousness;” He did not say ONLY seek the Kingdom of God. He said that if you put it first, made it your priority in constructive thinking, you would find everything comes together, falls into place. You will discover a balanced righteousness in living that does not block out your wants or desires but prioritizes them. With your priorities in order, you may lead what is really THE GOOD LIFE, a better life.
Good Living has a SPIRITUAL FOUNDATION. “Except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it:” (Psalm 127:1) This includes your family’s life and your life. Do not let the proud waters of modern materialism and the stylish waves of empty liberal rhetoric sink your soul and your family’s sense of divine living. Do not drown yourself in a sea of materialism. Do not be a another lemming marching to the sea to drown yourself in the company of a popular army of materialistic rodents satisfying a death wish.
You have heard the Word of the Lord! You may recognize this if you are in a state of grace high enough to sense it when preached or recognize it if read. If you are not in a state of grace, one day or some time you may be. Nevertheless, “The Lord Jesus Christ be with thy spirit. Grace be with you.” (II Timothy 4: 22 )
Dr. James MacLeod may be contacted through the Neill Macaulay Foundation.