Only two ways to live

I have always thought there are only two ways to live: living out one’s worship of God, or living out of self-worship.  In other words, we either live for God or we try to be God.  I have always thought those who truly desired to live pleasing to God would be intuitively led in that direction.  Those who don’t care, follow their self-centered instincts into their logical conclusion.  And then I just felt short of words to describe what those two lifestyles look like.

Today I was reading Eugene Peterson’s Message bible, and his description in Galations chapter 5, is just perfect.  First is his description of the human condition when we make a god out of self.   I’ll quote it here:

“It is obvious what kind of life develops out of trying to get your own way all the time:  repetitive, loveless, cheap sex; a stinking accumulation of mental and emotional garbage; frenzied and joyless grabs for happiness; trinket gods; magic-show religion; paranoid loneliness; cutthroat competition; all-consuming-yet-never-satisfied wants; a brutal temper; an impotence to love or be loved; divided homes and divided lives; sma;;-minded and lopsided pursuits; the vicious habit of depersonalizing everyone into a rival; uncontrolled and uncontrollable addictions; ugly parodies of community. I could go on.”

Next is his description of the person trying to please God:

“But what happens when we live God’s way?  He brings gifts into our lives, much the same way that fruit appears in an orchard–things like affection for others, exuberance about life, serenity.  We develop a willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion in the heart, and a conviction that a bsic holiness permeates things and people.  We find ourselves involved in loyal commitments, not needing to force our way in life, able to marshal and direct our energies wisely.”

I wish I could write like that.  Yes, it is a paraphrase of an actual biblical book, and it is so good!



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