Thursday, August 30, 2012

To be or not to be?

"I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world. This makes it hard to plan the day" E.B. White

One of my good friends and I were talking about different ways to serve those around us, and she said this quote above. Once I read it, BAM! It just sunk in really quick, and made things so clear.

Normally, we like things to be in the gray area. We don't like the "If you're not with us you're against us" mentality.  We like to play both sides of the spectrum at times, and we think it helps us out in the long run - but we are only hurting ourselves! Speaking from personal experience, learn from my mistakes, please! I used to 'enjoy the world' and then try to 'improve' it - thinking I'm cancelling out the stuff I did wrong, and boy was that a wrong mentality! I managed to get myself into thinking that it was true, imagine that? A conscience that I forced to give in to the checks and balances idea, and more harmfully, got me thinking God was like that too. "Let me just do more good than bad, and I'll be alright" - WRONG!

Many of us heard the verse from the book of Revelation about being lukewarm, here is it from the Message translation to give a little different perspective, "I know you inside and out, and find little to my liking. You're not cold, you're not hot - far better to be either cold or hot! You're stale. You're stagnant. You make me want to vomit." Rev 3:15. Sounds a bit harsh right? We need to hear this sometimes because we get into the trap of telling ourselves something to ease our consciences and in the long run end up confused when we find ourselves in a ditch.

We need to realize this, and make a clear cut decision. Are we going to improve the world, or enjoy it? We CANNOT do both, plain and simple. Make up as many excuses as we want, and they will be just that - excuses. I will be the first to publicly admit my fault in this, and I need to keep reminding myself of this quote to make it a reality. We need to be a little harder on ourselves and tell ourselves "if we are not with God, we are against Him" - while always keeping in mind but not taking advantage of the fact that we see God's love for us when He says "For he who is not against us, is on our side" Mark 9:40


  1. I think it's important to distinguish between enjoying worldly things and enjoying the world. There is no reason why we can't improve the world and enjoy the improvements, the world itself as a creation of God and the ability to make those improvements by the grace of God. God doesn't want us to just toil and suffer, He also wishes us to be happy and enjoy what is around us.

    1. You're absolutely right - we just have a hard time enjoying what God actually wants us to enjoy, and grasp onto actual material things as the object of our worship. Of course God made the world and things in it for us to enjoy, we just have a little distorted view of what that is.