Two Lives – One Choice (repost)

Let’s admit it – we get lazy. It is a trait that seems to follow on the coattails of prosperity and the “pursuit of happiness.” Why do for yourself when you can pay to have others do for you? Better yet, maybe they’ll even do it for free!  Then, we can have more time to focus on having a happy life. As long as it’s getting done, then it doesn’t matter so much how involved we are in the process, right?

It can be difficult for Christians to differentiate between our beloved American Dream and life in the kingdom of God. One particular area where we have trouble is in our philosophies of raising children. Our ears and heads are constantly being filled with competing worldviews, and we can very easily end up compromised as we seek to follow God’s calling upon our lives. Perhaps it would be understood best through illustration.

The American Dream promotes life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. As an American, I have an abundance of people and resources to help me know how I can have a great, happy, successful life. It only follows that my pursuit of liberty includes freedom from my responsibility. It makes more sense for someone else to care for the wellbeing of my children so I can pursue my life. Sure, I still want my children to be disciplined and taught truths about God, but they can learn that from ministry professionals once a week so I can have time to better myself. After all, I am an American, and I am pursuing personal happiness, right?

The Kingdom of God promotes life, liberty and the pursuit of holiness. As a Christian, God provides me with an abundance of His grace and truth to help me know how I can experience peace with Him. It only follows that His provision of liberty includes my freedom from sin as I turn and follow Jesus Christ. It only makes reasonable sense for me to care for the wellbeing of my children so I can praise and honor Him. Sure, I may make mistakes at times as I seek to “bring them up in the disciplines and instruction of the Lord” (Eph. 6:4); but they can learn through my humble response to God’s correction and a daily life lived as a pleasing sacrifice for His glory. After all, I am a Christian, and I am pursuing Christ-like holiness, right?

Consider a description of our Lord in Philippians 2:1-5:

So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus.

Now, what about Christ’s example leaves room for us to justify our laziness and lack of involvement in the lives of our children? Which life are we pursuing – the American Dream or the Kingdom of God? When we’ve answered that question, then we just need to determine whether or not we’re going to make a change. Our children await our response.

{Image above found here.}

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