Monday, January 19, 2009

Learning in a Time of War

In this sermon, Lewis preached about "How can [one] be so frivolous and so selfish as thinking about anything about the salvation of human souls?" I have always asked a similar question: "What is the point of learning if loving God is all that matters?"

Many people think that once they become a Christian, their lives and activities should and will change. While their lives should and will change, the normal day to day activities probably will not (as long as they are not based in sin). While the actual activity should not change the motivation and purpose for the activity should change. Once a Christian, one should not live for themselves not longer (die to yourself) but to God. And every activity that one does should be done for God, to glorify God. 

We talked a little bit in class about whether or not an activity not done for God is a sin or not. Is it really so black and white? Lewis says there is no middle ground. Corrie Poelman says there is. I was thinking about it in discussion. It is something I have never thought about. . . 
Romans 14:23 says that anything that is not from faith is sin. Can something be not of faith yet not be a sin? According to this verse, I do not think so. For example, the choice between a chocolate cookie and a sugar cookie; could the wrong choice be sin? No, but the motivation behind the choice can be a sin or it can be out of faith. Another way to word this is; the choice between being selfish or glorifying God. If the choice in not for God, then it must it a selfish choice. 

"...worth dying for, but not worth living for"

I liked the part about the danger of learning irresistible. Once that happens "the time for plucking the right eye has arrived." There is a huge danger in becoming so consumed with studies that we forget our motivation in the first place. We start out studying for God's glory, but it can quickly become selfish and irresistible. I like C.S. Lewis' warning. It is a good reminder. 

"All schemes of happiness that centered in this world, were always doomed to a final frustration."

"Never, in peace or war, commit your virtue or your happiness to the future. Happy work is best done by the man who take his long-term plans somewhat lightly and works from moment to moment 'as to the Lord.' It is only our daily bread that we are encouraged to ask for. The present is the only time in which any duty can be done or any grace received."

Lewis says it so well here. We cannot constantly be looking to the future for our happiness. We need to appreciate and be thankful for what we have now. I feel as though most Americans live like this: We are born, we look forward to kindergarden --> kindergarden, we look forward to grade school --> grade school, we look forward to high school --> high school, we look forward to college --> college, we look forward to a career --> career, we look forward to retirement. And that is when they will be happy. But it doesn't have to be this way, we can find enjoyment in the Lord and the things we have now. 

"Take delight in the Lord, and He will give you your heart's desires." 
Psalm 37:4

(One of my favorite verses)

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