From Statues to Being
"This world is a great sculptor's shop. We are the statues and there is a rumor going around the shop that some of us are some day going to come to life."
~ C.S. Lewis Mere Christianity
What are we before we receive Christ into our hearts? What is our life for and what is the meaning of our actions? The picture of a statue coming to life struck a chord with me. I know many well intentioned people; people who give themselves for the benefit of others, yet they do not have Christ in their heart. Jesus is not their reason for benevolence.
Action, any action, apart from God is meaningless. This goes against popular opinion and even my own initial inclination. If someone gives a family in need $100, isn't that action good with or without Jesus. On the surface all signs point towards YES. But what is the intent? Who is glorified? What is the bigger picture?
God exists and there is an afterlife. This is not an apologetic piece, so there is no need to examine that statement. With this in mind, there is a bigger purpose to helping people. We are here on this earth for a moment. When you compare seventy years to eternity, seventy years loses its apparent endless duration. As we move from day to day, it is easy to get caught up in the present. Not only the present, but we almost solely focus on our time here on earth, whether past, present, or future. So while we have this limited frame of mind, we help people within this mindset. We give to the needy, help a stranded traveler, or even rescue people from harmful situations. And while, in each case their lives were changed for the better, if there is no eternal impact than what is it for? We must have eternity in mind as we go about loving people.
There was a conversation I had with a close friend regarding this topic. We were discussing the need to help with rescuing sex trafficked children. As we discussed this topic an issue came to the forefront of our conversation; what comes after the rescuing? Do they become part of a foster system, do they find a loving family, can they accept that new family? Along with these questions, once they are rescued there needs to be something even more than love from a family and a better situation in life. Their life on this earth is undoubtedly better. No one can question that. I would not suggest rejecting help for these children just because the overall goal isn't injecting Christ into the situation, the children do not deserve that life. What I am suggesting though, is that without Christ their life would only be better while they are still living here on earth, but then what?
Everything must be done for the glory of God. It has to be this way because He is the reason for our vey existence. Give to the needy, but let them know you give because God enables you to do so. Help a stranded traveler, but make it known you help because Jesus modeled that for you. Rescue someone from a harmful situation, but tell him that you were once in a harmful situation as well, and a man named Jesus Christ rescued you. Especially when it comes to helping people, there will always be an opportunity to mention Jesus, the reason for such help.
Before Christ we were just statues, helping others for the sake of humanity; creating other statues. This network of statues desires something more than earthly ease. It longs for something more, something beyond. Hollow philanthropy is appealing, it causes great happiness without the uneasiness of Christianity. One can do good and be done. The receiver can be helped and be done. And one day each life will conclude and then, maybe surprisingly for some, there will be more. The one who blesses and the one who is blessed will continue to live on, forever. But where they continue to reside does not depend on the "quality" of life lived, it depends on what is inside, rather who is inside.
Do, but do for the sake of Christ.