The Reason for the Season…and Everything Else.
For some reason I have been feeling a little discontent and restless and confused about several things in my life lately, so I have been doing some soul-searching. For me, this mostly means asking myself the question: “Why?” Why am I doing this? Why am I not doing that? Why did that happen? Why should I? Why shouldn’t I? I have found that the answer to the question “Why?” can tell me more about myself, other people and things that happen in my life than almost anything else. As I reflect on some things I have said and done over the past couple of months, both good and bad, I am trying to honestly answer the question “Why?”
Answering the question “Why?” will reveal who I really am and what is deep inside my heart. Jesus once said: “Out of the abundance of the heart…the good person out of his good treasure brings forth good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure brings forth evil” (Matthew 12:35). Only the answer to the question “Why?” from the depths of my heart can reveal whether something in my life is good or bad, right or wrong, meaningful or wasteful.
The “Why” of the heart is what really matters, but we must be careful because the “Why” is not always obvious to the eye. Jesus once addressed a group of people who looked good on the outside, but he knew their hearts. “This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; in vain do they worship me…” (Matthew 15:8-9).
So I am asking myself: What, or who, really has my heart? What, or who, is my “Why,” because the “Why” makes all the difference. Two people can come to church, but because of the “Why,” one is pleasing to God and the other is not. Two people can feed the homeless, but because of the “Why,” one is sinning and the other is not. Two people can do the same job, but because of the “Why,” one is good and one is evil. If you think that is overstated, consider Romans 14:23: “Whatever does not proceed from faith is sin.”
If I want my “Why” to be pleasing to God in all that I say and do, then I must match my “Why” with His. The Scriptures teach that God himself has a “Why” that defines his goodness…and also defines ours. Jesus expressed it at the end of his longest prayer to His Father in the Bible: “I made known to them your name, and I will continue to make it known, that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them” (John 17:26). In other words, God’s “Why” is that He loves Jesus, and He wants us to love Him too.
God created the heavens and the earth because He loves Jesus, and He wants us to love Him too. God created men and women in His own image because He loves Jesus and wants us to love Him too. God made a plan to forgive our sins because He loves Jesus and wants us to love Him too. God sent Jesus to be our Savior and only hope because He loves Him and wants us to love Him too. God raised Jesus from the dead because He loves Him and wants us to love Him too. God will work all things together for good to make us like Jesus because He loves Him and wants us to love Him too. God will send Jesus back one day to put an end to all sin, sickness, suffering and death because He loves Him and wants us to love Him too. God will give us eternal life with Him in heaven forever because He loves Jesus and wants us to love Him too. And God will express His wrath toward all who reject Jesus, because He loves Jesus above all else and wants us to love Him above else too – so much so that He will remove every obstacle and hindrance to the full enjoyment of both His and our love for Him forever. God’s love for Jesus is His “Why” underneath all other reasons…for EVERYTHING!
Around Christmas, many people talk about the “Reason for the Season.” Well, Jesus made clear that the “Reason for the Season,” and for everything else, is that God is a Father who has a Son that He loves, and He wants us to love Him too. This is good news indeed!
I want my “Why” to match God’s “Why.” I have a suspicion that if I could learn to live with this focus, I would stop feeling so discontent and restless and confused. I think it would help me react better, be more patient and forgiving with my family and friends, and find more joy and fulfillment in my relationships and work. Will you join me on this journey into the One Great “Why”? Why or why not?
“Whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him” ( Colossians 3:17).
Embracing Jesus as the Reason for the Season…and for everything else…