As a Man Thinketh in His Heart, So is He
I have yet to find an editorial which takes life seriously enough to raise and discuss such things as murder, pornography and poverty in light of such basic questions as: What is a human being? Is there a true right and wrong? What is the meaning of "sick" when we say "society is sick?" And why does materialism lead to what we call a "sick" society? Indeed if, as so many scientists say. we are the product of chance "working" on matter and energy, that is, if we are merely material products of a purposeless universe, why then should society's materialism lead to "sickness?" If we as humans are products of nature, then the most natural thing in the world would be to see ourselves as only a part of nature. But, once we do this, then death, abuse and "sickness" become acceptable because they too are equally the products of nature alone.
The scriptures push us to say "no" to this idea that life can be lived without asking the basic questions of daily existence. The Lord wants us to worship Him in spirit and truth. He wants us to ask questions like: Is this a God or an idol I'm worshipping? In whose image am I made? God or Nature? Is God the author of evil or did Mankind bring it into being?
The Bible tells us that "as a man thinketh, so is he." Our society, the media, movies, education and such would have the thinking of our hearts controlled bv anything but the personal God of truth. In both our personal and public lives we are in danger of living a passivity-minded life. Publically we are production oriented: so long as we produce the goods we have value and worth. Whatever helps us produce more goods becomes, by definition, right. Big business, more decisions, bigger churches become acceptable because productivity is our idol. The scripture tells us that unless the Lord builds the house, those that labor, labor in vain. After we lump on the production treadmill, we no longer have sufficient time to allow the mind of Christ to dwell in us richly. Having given up our brains to the productive machine, we produce its fruit and wake up perhaps 40 years later with the burnt-out remains of what we once were, of what our families once were. We have been controlled by ideas of those who own the means of production.
In our private lives, we find the same phenomena except that here our role is to consume. As consumers we buy what we have produced. We buy food, entertainment, people. experiences and death. So long as we consume we have worth and value. We measure our worth and value in terms of the dollars it cost to consume such and such an item. In a materialistic society we value what costs most to consume. We value or BMW over the WI because the BMW costs more. As consumers, we think in our hearts that choice makes right. And so with a twisted morality we choose our valued careers, produce in order to consume, to maintain a certain level of lifestyle, even if it means we buy death through abortion (the consumption of the unborn)
We are called to be "the salt of the earth." What the Lord originally created and called "good" is now broken through sin and in need of healing. Jesus, the Healer, opened the way for us to "have peace with God" We are to model Jesus and be in the world, but not of it. Even 50, we need to ask the Lord how we can begin to be salt in this thoughtless, lifeless, world of production and consumption. How can all of life in its brokenness be brought back to something of its goodness? How can we begin working in the media, the entertainment industry and the work world in such a way as to actually be salt? We are not called to escapism. And as we roll up our sleeves in these and other areas, how can we in a caring human way share the claims of Jesus with those we meet? How can we consume without living only to eat? Properly produce without idolizing the work of our hands?
One place to begin is to realize that if we want to really be the salt of the earth, then we must forever reject the idea life can be lived in a mindless passive manner. Mindless Christianity is the joy of Satan. As Christians, we realize that we are made in the image of the Living God, a being who thinks, acts and feels. In creating Man, the Lord gave Adam and Eve a task and expected them to figure out just how to have dominion over the earth. We have no hint of an exhaustive instruction booklet being handed down. No. In communication with the Lord, Adam and Eve were to discover creatively and imaginatively what it means in a practical way to have dominion over the earth. This calling required both thought and action. The sense of accomplishment must have been fantastic. A dry intellectualism is also the joy of Satan. The scriptures talk about the whole person set on fire by Truth. Discipleship involves more than the mind, but it can never afford to involve less. As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he. If a man has stopped thinking, he is less than a man. He becomes material for the thoughts of other men.
The Bible tells us why we are questioning, wondering beings. And it provides a framework within which we can begin to become wise in the ways of the Lord, as we take our questions and complaints to Him just as the prophets of old. Then we have a start in the process of being salt.