Our Christian faith teaches us to humble ourselves and put others needs first. We are taught to strive to love unconditionally in the same way God loves us. We are taught to do without excess. And yet it seems that the driving motivation behind many Christian’s lifestyle is the promise that one day they will reach an eternity of riches, lavish living and “everything you could ever imagine.”
It makes me wonder how popular Christianity would be if we learned that our eternity will be more like resting in God’s presence in a raggedy old cave somewhere. Isn’t there a hint of selfishness in dreaming of the day that we can shed these Christian values and pamper ourselves in our reward?
It’s like this: when we fast, Jesus teaches us to not draw attention to ourselves and cry out as if we are going through such torture. If we do that, we lose the point of fasting in the first place. And when the fast is over, we don’t park ourselves at the all-you-can-eat buffet and eat ourselves sick. The fast means nothing if no discipline is gained. So could it be that this life on earth is a “fast” to teach us the discipline we need in the eternal life where God’s presence is enough and materialism is offensive?
What’s our motivation? Am I to try to be more Christ-like so I can gain more “stuff” in heaven? Is my service to the poor just an eternal manipulation to raise my own status in heaven? God, whether heaven is my eternal resting place or not, help me to reflect you well in my time here on earth.