You’ve probably heard “The unconsidered life is not worth living”. You may not have known that was said by Socrates and those were among the last words he said. But what is a considered life? …
I’m afraid – that for much of America, much of Christianity in America – a considered life is one that is thought out, planned, and disciplined in the necessary rigors to establish ourselves in a manner or style of living that suits our natures. To use more New-Testament-ish language – it’s a life that firmly establishes our kingdom.
Yup. Our kingdom. Little k.
This is perhaps one of the most intoxicating distractions from Jesus’ teaching about the Kingdom of Heaven – and speaks to the very great, very harmful confusion we fall prey to so easily – that our Kingdom and God’s kingdom are similar – or worse – same. In other words – we fail to understand what the salvation Jesus offers actually means.
Some of my most frustrating moments have come when I’ve stared at the ruin caused when my longing to establish my personal kingdom collides with my longing to transform into some one more closely related to Jesus and exist in this world as a window on His presence to those around me. My conflicting desire to make my own kingdom – and the ambiguity that desire publicly confesses for me to all who want to look – is possibly the only actual barrier to my having the walk with Jesus I long to experience.
That is not tragic – for me. It is however truly tragic for God’s Kingdom. Every Christian – especially for Christians living in the US where we can so easily exert influence – we have an unimaginable potential impact on God’s Kingdom – especially if we are unambiguous in our commitment to building God’s Kingdom not ours. I am pretty certain – the idea that Jesus would die so I can be free to draw strength from Him and His example to make a cozy world in which to hide from the burden of the reality that God’s Kingdom is not what it could be.
So Socrates said “the unconsidered life is not worth living.” Jesus’ perspective on this is clearer still in Mark 8:36 and many related parables when He says “What does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul?” What would it profit to gain everything at the expense of someone else’s soul?
I confess – I have wasted many days gaining but forfeiting – and am grateful for today stand firm and your prayers that I do not forfeit again. Imagine if none of us forfeited?