“But of Him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:” (1 Corinthians 1:30)
I’ve been “made”
No, not like that. It means found out. When God walked through the Garden, asking where Adam was (see Genesis 3:9), don’t you think He already knew? If He interacted with us without coming down to our level, what kind of God would He be? “He hath not dealt with us after our sins” (Psalm 103:10) Says David. This is why He sent Jesus to live as a human. So that we would have something more than the apex of biology to aspire to. Paul says this in his first letter to Timothy (4:8a): “For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.” He’s not saying to not work out and take care of your body. He’s referring to a wider lens with which he’s viewing this thing called “life”. Because there’re two kinds of it and it’s more than semantics. God might have used my mother and father to give me a body–brain, blood, bone, etc.–but the substance of my being? My soul and spirit, for lack of any better terms, were made by Him. I believe that while my brain fires in response to my environment, my reaction to it is where my soul and spirit utilize the biological hardware I came with. Because without my body, I’d never have been able to wander around on this planet until God found me.
Balancing the scales
Life is complex. From the world in which we live and move to the density of our brains and bodies, one would be a fool to dismiss the inherent beauty of this thing called. If you’re reading this, know you have it. Life and its four stages (or seven, depending on your source)–growth and development, reproduction, response to the environment and organization–are carrying you around even as we speak. Each moment and each cell a gift from God.
“Wherefore doth a living man complain, a man for the punishment of his sins?” (Lamentations 3:39) Jeremiah asks this near rhetorical question. You have life. You’re here to enjoy the ups and downs and ins and outs of existence and God wants to put his finger on sin? But you’re alive! We can explain away “sin” or “sins” as the product of living by our wits. Or we can lay down our clockwork wills in acknowledgement of something greater than us. It costs something. It costs the very (physical) life with which we’ve been gifted in order to get something that we’re not born with: God’s life.
“And He said this unto His disciples, Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat; neither for the body, what ye shall put on. The life is more than meat (i.e. food) and the body is more than raiment.” (Luke 12:22-23) The Greek word translated “life” in this verse, is “zoe”. It refers to a deeper thing than simple (complex) biology. Jesus is telling His disciples here to focus on the bedrock of our existence in relation with Him: the fact that we’re here to experience and maybe even enjoy it at all. Because life is a miracle, plain and simple. Whether you’ve read enough books to substantiate your doubt in a Creator, or you still believe in spite of the “evidence”. Just as long as you don’t not care either way, life is wondrous. Gratitude is the order of the day. It’s one thing to pull apart the subjects in your textbook–fascinating though they may be. It’s quite another to live practically and pragmatically (i.e. by our wits) after we’ve accrued a little knowledge of how things work, knowing that unless we work (to put it plainly), we’re not going to be able to feed and clothe ourselves. But if the lowest strata of existence is indeed a spiritual one, one to which we’re not privy unless we’re on the same wavelength as God, it behooves us to take in this tincture of information that you won’t find anywhere in a world that is fascinated with only what it can see, touch and quantify.
“And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He that hath the Son hath life (zoe); and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.” (1 John 5:11-12)
Removing the scales
So what are we waiting for? This is where the rubber meets the road. We all can do better. Give. The problems in this world are easily solvable. From the greatest to the least, practice a little counterintuition. Whereas acquisition and accomplishment might seem to be in keeping with the four (or seven) stages of biological life, they don’t necessarily lend themselves to bettering those who just can’t seem to muster up a little “homeostasis” (one of the seven actually). Because if Jesus gave His life, the least I can do is give a moment or two to someone who may or may not need anything. Just a word, a smile, an idea–or a cup of coffee after lunch. There are untapped storehouses in Heaven that, if you believe in God and His abundance, are ours for the drawing. And it’s all wrapped up in the love of God as lived out through Jesus, spiritually first. And physically.
Don’t forget to do it in love, however: “And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.” (1 Corinthians 13:3)