Friday, April 21, 2017

what matters most

St Augustine teaches us a very interesting and important lesson that I'd never heard before today in A Year with the Church Fathers.

He tells us that in this life, we often see good people suffering and bad people enjoying themselves. And this can confuse us, since we would think that if God is all powerful and all knowing, He would reward the good people with happiness and punish the bad people with unhappy lives.

But what St Augustine points out is that watching the lives of both people, the good and the bad, teaches us what is truly important in life. Now, it's not that material things like good food, a nice house, new clothes, and so forth are BAD in themselves. But they're not what matters most.

What matters most, we learn from watching the lives of good people, is love, faith, hope, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, self-control... and these are the very things that the good people DO have in this life, and the bad people go without.

So we learn... seek these things. The attributes of the kingdom of God. The fruits of the Spirit. If we seek Him first, and His kingdom, then we will find everything fitting right into place. We might not have the biggest house or gourmet meals, but He'll take care of our needs. And we'll have what truly matters... what nothing can take away from us. We'll have God in our hearts.

God, thank You for using the lives of the good and the bad to teach us what truly matters.

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