What ideas, philosophies, or worldviews are filling your mind every single day? James Emery White in “A Mind for God” suggests there is a cultural mind which is shaping the way we think, in particular four major ideas are shaping us.
“What is true for you is true for you, and what is true for me is true for me.” It is ‘Moral Relativism’ which suggests that truth is subjective and personal.
‘Autonomous Individualism’, or the idea that I, and I alone, am the master of my own destiny. In this view, I am not accountable to anyone else, nor is anyone or anything able to direct or influence my choices.
Sees my pleasure or fulfillment as the ultimate goal in life. It is otherwise known as ‘Narcissistic Hedonism.’
Influences the way in which we know and understand. It is ‘Reductive Naturalism’, which argues that the only true knowledge is that which I can comprehend, whether it be through empirical research or what I can taste, touch, see or smell.
At risk of oversimplifying these ideas, a common thread runs through all four ideas. Me. Self. I am the one who can decide what is true, I am the one who decides my destiny and purpose, my fulfillment is the ultimate goal and I am the only means through which truth can be known.
Yet, I am limited. I am fallible. I am selfish. I am not God. Maybe the sooner I realise this the better. When I realise this I am more able to abandon myself to a life that has a significance and purpose greater than me. A life that is not limited by my ability and intellect, but a life where I am set free to pursue the future marked out for me by the one who has no limitations of power or intellect. When I trust God with my life, a God who loves me so deeply that he would not withhold his son from dying to save me, then I don’t have to worry about the pursuit of the best, most pleasurable life. I can surrender my quest for fulfillment and the best life to the God who has given everything so that I can have life and life to the full. The paradox is that this life is not found in the pursuit of this life or the pursuit of self, but the surrender of self to God.
One of the most radical ideas of all that I need to contend with is this, “whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.” These are the words of Jesus. The life I am looking for is not found in me, and there may even be parts of me that get in the way. Could it be that in choosing to trust Jesus, rather than self, I might end up finding the very thing I have been pursuing through self? Meaning. Significance. Purpose. Fulfillment. Truth. Life.