Time Is Short

January 19, 2012 § Leave a comment

1 Corinthians 7:29-31 is not popular news in contemporary consumerist culture.  Everything in our daily lives drives home the message that our purpose in life is to want, to desire, to have.  The belief in our society is that an abundance of goods (for some even an abundance of Facebook friends!) bring happiness.  Every day is a quest to be more beautiful/handsome, more confident about yourself, and more successful.  And we measure these goals in terms of how much money we have, the prestige of our jobs, and the value of commodities such as houses and clothes.  Paul’s message represents a sharp contrast to such a culture of desire and want.  For him, our status in terms of worldly standards has no bearing on the quality of life.  “For this world in its present form is passing away” (7:31).  Therefore, “those who buy something, (should live) as if it were not theirs to keep; those who use the things of the world, as if not engrossed in them” (7:30-31).  Rather, we are called to shift our focus to the fact “that the time is short” (7:29).  For Christians, every day there is another kind of urgency in the air.  Not the self-indulgent urgency to gather more stuff or prestige.  But an urgency that focuses away from the self to God and people.  We are not called to our own self-satisfaction, but to self-sacrifice for the sake of others.  You and I are not “born to shop” (popular bumper sticker); we are born to love.

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