Have you ever taken the time to examine yourself? If you would examine yourself today, would you say you were a good or bad person? What would be your criteria?
In our world, today, it is so easy to get distracted by all the new movies, games, and other forms of entertainment. Even beyond the entertainment we must worry about work, school, children, and other responsibilities. It can feel like we never have a moment to just breathe, let alone think about what’s going on in our lives.
With so much going on in our lives, it seems crazy to think of even taking a break. The stress of our daily lives can make us feel so tired and worn out. It comes to a point where we must fight for that moment of silence.
Have you ever felt this way?
Even though this life seems like a never-ending roller coaster, there has got to be moments where we just take a break. We need moments where there is nothing to distract us, so that we can truly relax. A decision needs to be made to set aside time out of our busy lives, to just relax and reflect on ourselves.
If we don’t do this, then we will continue this crazy train and end up burning ourselves out. Also, if we cannot just stop what we’re doing, then this life will truly rule us. It will come to a point where we are so overwhelmed that we just shutdown. This has been apparent with the lives of so many people in our country.
Even though finding that moment to relax is important for our mental and physical health, it is not the only thing that we need. We also need to find moments to reflect on ourselves, and start asking the important questions in life.
We all know that we won’t live forever, and at one point in our lives we will face death, whether we like it or not. However, no one wants to think about that until they are old or sick. So, we continue our normal lives doing whatever we want until one day it blows up in our face. If we don’t take time in our lives to consider our standing in eternity, then we could end up in the wrong place.
Therefore, it is important to take time out of our busy lives, to consider the big questions in life. Why do I exist? What happens when I die? What’s the point of my life?
I will start by examining the first question. Why do I exist?
We all know there are two interpretations on how the world came to be. One of those we learn in school and the other we learn about in church. They are called evolution and creationism.
The gist of each is evolution believes that the universe was formed by a big bang and cells over time mutated and evolved over a series of billions of years to form everything that is on our planet currently. With this viewpoint, we are told that there is no rhyme or reason why we exist, but that we just do. With evolution, we are taught that our lives are none more consequential than a goldfish. So, if you believe in evolution, then you basically are here for no reason whatsoever and it doesn’t matter.
Creationism which comes from the Christian belief that God created and formed everything. In creationism, we are taught that God designed each one of us for a purpose and that we are a child of His. If you believe in this, then you believe that God exists and that He loves you and created you because He loves you.
These are the main ideas on how the world was created and ultimately why you and I are here today. So, it’s up to you to decide what you truly believe, but I will say this. I don’t think any of us are a giant coincidence or a mistake, I believe the reason that we can love, is because we were created by love itself.
The next question is even more controversial. What happens when we die?
There are so many different belief systems in the world, that it’s hard to even decipher which is true. However, just like the first question, it’s all up to you to decide for yourself. However, I can tell you that most people believe in a heaven and a hell.
Out of asking random people the most popular answer that I got on how to get to heaven, was that I’m a good person. I did a lot of good in my life, or I go to church, which makes me a good person.
So, from this I wanted to test this on myself to see if this was true. So, I am going to evaluate myself based off this belief. I want to see if I pass or fail.
- You shall have no other gods before Me. -Fail
So, this commandment basically means that God should be your #1 priority in life, He comes before anything else.
Any hobby, relationship, person or anything that comes before or between you and Jesus Christ in your life or part of your life is a god.
Anything that occupies you more than God is a god.
You can also be a god to yourself.
Well when I was a teenager I didn’t know God, so I obviously didn’t follow this. When I got my first management job, I devoted my entire life to my job. I know I don’t always even know think about God before making all decisions. So, I think I can safely say I didn’t follow this all the time.
- You shall make no idols. – Fail
So, this commandment basically means that it is forbidden to make any image or picture of the Deity in any form or for any purpose or to worship any creature, image or picture.
In addition, images are created in imagination. If you create any image of God in your imagination (mind), you have broken the second command.
We should not create an image of God in our minds and the big question is; how do you imagine of a person called ‘I am whom I am’, a spirit?
This one was a lot harder, because I never worshipped an image or anything before I met Christ. However, I do know that I have tried to make a picture of what God looks like in my mind, so I think I probably failed this one too.
- You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain. – Fail
This one means saying oh my god, or Jesus Christ as an insult or as a curse.
I used to say omg all the time, and even Jesus Christ when I was pissed or something bad happened, which basically means cursing Him. Now I stopped this after I was saved, but still I did it. If you do a crime even once then your guilty.
- Keep the Sabbath day holy. – Fail
This means If you never keep all days of Sabbath, not just one day, you have never kept the Sabbath day, you have broken the fourth command.
Jesus Christ allowed works of necessity, charity and piety to be done on Sabbath day
Trading, paying wages, settling accounts, writing letters of business, worldly studies, traveling, visits, journeys or light conversation are not in the spirit of keeping the Sabbath day holy.
The Sabbath day should be a day of rest from worldly labor.
Well I skip church sometimes, and I never went to church until I was 17 anyway. I also still do work on the Sabbath, and I don’t treat it as sacred as I should.
- Honor your father and your mother. – Fail
If you neither honor your father and your mother nor recognized them as your parents, you have broken this law.
Well I hated my parents growing up and never listened to them. I remember cursing them out on numerous occasions when I was growing up.
- You shall not murder. – Fail
If you are angry with anyone you are guilty.
If you are upset or bitter, abuse, quarrel and fight with any person, you have broken this law
I used to have a huge temper and I cursed like a sailor for a long time. I still curse now, and I also get mad. I stopped hating people though, but I used to hate pretty much everyone, after being made fun of all through school.
- You shall not commit adultery. – Fail
If you look a person with lustful eyes you have committed adultery.
Adultery first happens in the heart and soul before the body does it.
Watching pornography is adultery.
Worship or being involved with other gods is spiritual prostitution (adultery).
Well I was addicted to porn growing up, and I had sex before marriage so I’m guilty of this too.
- You shall not steal. -Fail
Well this is just obvious. I stole money from my parents change jar growing up. I also cheated in some games.
- You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. – Fail
This is basically lying. I have lied so many times in my life I can’t even try to count.
- You shall not covet. – Fail
If you want more than you already have, you’re not content, you’re coveting.
I would love a better car, job, house, and other things so I am guilty of this.
So, after examining myself honestly, I could say I broke every single one of these rules. I think if you honestly judge yourself based off these standards that God has, you would ultimately fail as well. Therefore, the whole good person idea seems very farfetched.
Another way to see the fault in this teaching is to think about law. Let’s say we put Hitler on trial for what he did. Now, if Hitler’s defense was, hey judge I know I did all this wrong, but I helped this old lady one time, or I helped my neighbor, or I gave to the poor. Do you think a good judge would still convict Hitler, or let him go because he did some good, at some point? A good judge would convict him, right?
Well the bible says that God is a good judge. He judges us not based on what we did right, but what we did wrong. If we are guilty of one of these commandments even for a second, then we are guilty and it doesn’t matter what you do, it doesn’t change the fact that your guilty.
That is why the good person and works based belief to get into heaven is faulty. The only way we get into heaven is through Jesus Christ. His perfect sacrifice on the cross, was enough to pay the price for my sins and yours. He made it so simple for us, that it doesn’t matter how bad we were, or what we did, if we came to Him and accepted His sacrifice and His resurrection, then we can follow Him to heaven.
I can tell you this about me, if I had to get into heaven on my own, I’d be screwed. As you can see from this, I am guilty of everything, yet since I gave my life to Christ, all of that is washed away. When the Father sees me on judgment day, all He will see is Jesus.
Now the final question, what’s the point of my life?
I would say this, each one of us was born for a purpose. That purpose is different and the same for each of us. The thing that is the same, is the fact that we were created in God’s image, so that we can have a relationship with Him. Our purpose collectively is to maintain that relationship, and to glorify our Father.
It is different at the same time, because each of our journeys are different. We each have different talents and skills that we were given, so that we could be at the right place at the right time. An example of this, is that I am good at writing and during my English class, I wrote a paper that was about the journey each person must go through to find faith. It led me to be able to witness to my professor and eventually led me to my call to be a pastor. Every moment of our lives is important. God doesn’t waste a second. You might think that you’re not doing anything or you’re not in the right place, but God is using it, trust me.
So, with all of this, I have a dare for you.
I dare you to evaluate yourself at this moment. Be honest with yourself, if you had to get in to heaven on your own based on the criteria that God gave us, would you make it?
If you realize that like me, you can’t make it on your own. Then say this prayer with me, and experience the free gift that Christ offers.
I know I have messed up in my life. I have sinned, and that has created a barrier between you and me. I need your forgiveness. I know I can’t do it on my own. I want to turn away from everything that I know is wrong. Right now, I choose to trust in you. I choose to accept your free gift of eternal life, and I believe that your sacrificial death freed me from this sin-baggage I have carried for so long. Please come into my life, renew me, love me, and stay with me forever.
Thank you, Jesus. Amen.”
When you welcome God in, he in turn will give himself fully to you, no strings attached. It is because of Jesus Christ’s act of utter selflessness, when he made the ultimate sacrifice for us, that we can have this kind of authentic relationship with him.