Glamour magazine gushed about an actress who gushed about discovering a new credo for herself,
“My life is mine!”
she exclaimed. She felt empowered, freed, and jubilant about the concept that her life is hers- hers to live however she wants. As she explained, this means she is free to sleep with whomever she wants, to eat what she wants, in short –to do what she wants, when she wants, with whomever she wants to do it. Naturally, the world applauded her – even exclaiming that she should be a life coach for the rest of us women.
I guess if we’re honest, we’ve all had those moments.
Is my life merely mine? That feels so shallow.
Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. 3For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. 4When Christ, who is youra life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. Colossians 3:1-3
Billy Joel cheerfully admonished us that “It’s my life”. He went on from making the point that it’s his life to tell us to go ahead with our own lives and leave him alone to live his life– in a snappy upbeat song that might be harder to get excited about now that he’s older. “My life is mine” is a phrase that is usually followed up with the concept of my life is none of your business. Teenagers exemplify this, but this feeling of “you can’t tell me what to do” is a lifelong issue for us.
What are we called to do with our lives? I want something more than just being left alone to do my own thing.
Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. 6Because of these, the wrath of God is coming.b 7You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. 8But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. 9Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices 10and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. 11Here there is no Gentile or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all. Colossians 3:4-11
In his book The Great Divorce, C S Lewis reminds us,
There are only two kinds of people in the end: those who say to God, “Thy will be done,” and those to whom God says, in the end, “Thy will be done.” All that are in Hell, choose it. Without that self-choice there could be no Hell. No soul that seriously and constantly desires joy will ever miss it. Those who seek find. Those who knock it is opened.
“My life is mine” is a very limited perspective on life. It may seem attractive on a surface level, but only like a piece of cheese smells attractive to a mouse crouching near a mouse trap. Where does “living for me” lead? Ultimately, what matters in the end when I’m dying and I’m finished loving myself most?
“My life is Thine” opens our hearts and lives to God’s perspective-an eternal, joy-filled, loving perspective — like this:
12Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
15Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. 16Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. 17And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Colossians 3:12-17
Glamour magazine might not notice, but the people around us will notice which choices we make- “mine or Thine”. True inner joy and purpose, which are so elusive in the world, will surely follow as we seek God’s will. After all, He created us and knows the details of our hearts. The lives of the saints provide us with abundant examples of what happens when we put God’s will ahead of our own, and so do our own lives as moment by moment our lives reflect our choices.
Whose life is it? Honestly, it seems mine is mostly a tug of war, but God has mercy and His grace is sufficient for us.