When given the choice between good or better, I think most of us would choose better. I’ve been really stuck on this idea recently as it relates to this life and the one after. Paul was writing to the Corinthians explaining how it was better to stay single and serve the Lord than to get married, which is good, and serve the Lord. In singleness we can set our sights on things eternal and thus serve God to a greater capacity. In married life the spouse has to worry about the other and their earthly needs and throw in kids and that is even more time, energy, and thought spent on things not eternal. Spending that time, energy, and thought on loving, protecting, and providing for your family is a good thing. Paul is just saying it would be better if all that could be spent on and with the Lord.
I have been wrestling with this thought of singleness and marriage. Am I one of the one’s that can’t control his passions and thus needs to get married? If not, I should stay single and serve the Lord wholly. I should want the better. I have this mental acknowledgment that singleness is better but I want to get married and have lots of kids. It seems to come down to am I willing to sacrifice this want to the Lord and take the disappointment of not getting married so that I can experience better. Marriage is good and it is good to pursue good things but I could pursue better.
If I take this to other areas of my life, am I willing to sacrifice goods for the better? Scripture seems to tell us that we can have treasure now or in heaven. If I give up the goods on this earth, I can receive better in heaven. The problem is that eternal goods are invisible and thus uncountable. I can’t really know if it is worth it to actually give up TV to earn something better. I just have to trust God that it is better. I believe when we get to heaven that we will be satisfied with the amount of gifts that we receive because on this earth we decided how much we wanted. Some will have more than others because they sacrificed more thus decided they wanted better. In my short experience thus far I’ve never been dissatisfied with what God has provided and given me whether material or spiritual. How amazing it could be if I could spread the material blessing to others, making myself poor, so that I could gain a much larger and infinite gift from the Lord.
It seems we often have the choice of good or better. It is often a good time to watch a movie or TV with my community. Better yet to get together and play a board game which creates a little more interaction. Even better why don’t we study scripture together. I haven’t chosen wrong in any of these things but it seems that there are better choices available. The alarm going off in my brain shouts about relevance and relating to the culture around me. If I’m pursuing the better and thus growing in the fruit of the Spirit and in virtue, I will be better prepared to love the culture around me. Serving a meal on a Saturday morning is better than going to see Harry Potter so that I can talk about how Harry is a Christ like figure. Pursuing the better will require much self sacrifice and thus better equip me to demonstrate that selfless love that Christ first shared with us.
I pray that we can pursue the better. If not the good is good. Let’s just not pursue the bad.
-Peace and Love, Robbie