Even Christians get caught up in aspects of the desire for things; it is easy to do.
Once we have our daily needs fulfilled and begin to find we have a little extra money for an extra thing or two; then three; then four . . . etc. we are in danger of filling our lives with unnecessary “things”. Or, we find we can afford a bigger house or a better car and so it goes. It may come to pass we discover we are flirting with becoming greedy. What then could make it worse, we may compare our behavior to others who may have become obsessed with “things”, “wealth” and “luxuries” way beyond our level of materialism. So we might smuggly think, “I may be a little materialistic but NOT LIKE them . . . “.
You get the picture. Perhaps it is a good time to review what the Word of GOD teaches and compare how we behave with GOD’s standard:
But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.
This temptation and its negative effects are nothing new:
As I grew from childhood into adulthood I took the instruction from my family and church seriously concerning telling the truth (even though I saw a wink from a family member now and again). Movies and television programs (especially for young people) proclaimed the merits of being honest as a way to a better life.
My Father Explained What a White Lie Was
My mom smacked his shoulder and they both laughed when my dad began to explain to me what a “Little White Lie” was. In school, in church and on Kid’s TV I did not get an explanation so I remained puzzled. This conundrum followed me into my teens when my idealism peaked and matters such as misused truth, deception, hypocrisy, politics and human to human manipulation troubled me a great deal. Mostly I just struggled to navigate daily life always weighing these issues trying to reconcile the ideal with the reality I found. During my time serving in the U. S. Army the contrast between the touted ideal and reality was at its greatest contrast – I will not go into details save soldiers have a history of decadent behavior when off duty for one thing.
In College I was Immersed in Postmodernity . . .
. . . and was unaware of it for many years. I am a lifelong learner so eventually I acquired philosophical knowledge and a keen sense of comprehensive thinking (I am a product of a liberal education in that I do question everything and attempt to make sense of what I discover). Mankind experienced great failures in science and morality and this was perplexing so a philosophical upheaval set humanity on a strange course (see the following):
In a logic class I learned about faulty reasoning and fallacies: this gave me a great deal of understanding but did not solve the dilemma concerning “absolute honesty”. One variable is how one defines honesty and whether it is in an ideal or in a practical sense in which we refer. Words (languages) are powerful and can be used to a person’s advantage without too much trouble especially to the unsuspecting. I could introduce situations where lying saved a life or lives but that may be an exception and it will do little or nothing in the quest to solve of the core issue at hand: how do we really define honesty and can we be honest all the time?.
Midway in my life – 35 years old – I became a Christian: “My dilemma is solved I thought”
Not so fast. Rather than offer my analysis let us inspect what GOD has to say in The Holy Bible and thus allow you to ponder the questions about honesty for yourself. I already expect the comments will reflect whether or not, you are a follower of Jesus Christ (have The Holy Spirit as a helper), you believe in GOD at all or are a secular humanist:
Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices
ESV = ENGLISH STANDARD VERSION BIBLE
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Humans benefit by marking time, celebrating anniversaries, observing milestones and pausing to reflect and renew especially on New Year’s Day no matter which calendar, tradition or cultural observance they use. Here in the U.S.A. we have inherited the “Gregorian Calendar” or “Christian Calendar” with all the influences of Roman and Roman Catholic culture incorporated. The latter classifying it as a holy day. Other religions consider the New Year in their observed calendars as holy but not all Christian sects consider New Year’s Day a holy day. Note: Holy Day became Holiday See: Holy Day became Holiday
As I wrote above humans seem to benefit emotionally and mentally when milestones are observed: a review and a new start for desired improvement begun a new. BUT, if celebrations go to debauchery physical illness and emotional distress (regrets) may be the real effects of all the hoopla.
As I wrote above humans seem to benefit emotionally and mentally when milestones are observed: a review and a new start for desired improvement begun a new. BUT, if celebrations go to debauchery physical illness and emotional distress (regrets) may be the real effects of all the hoopla. You can lose friends, lose respect and esteem.
There is hope however and you can receive guidance on ways to celebrate and retain your good standing. Socialize with like-minded friends who will not push you into embarrassing behavior and present a good example to the next generation. Where can you find this high quality guidance and encouragement?
Live Free and Well as a Christian
Ecclesiastes 3:13 ESV
Also that everyone should eat and drink and take pleasure in all his toil—this is God’s gift to man.
Ephesians 5:18 ESV
And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit,
Proverbs 20:1 ESV
Wine is a mocker, strong drink a brawler, and whoever is led astray by it is not wise.