What In Life Is Worth Living For?

           One of the most negative stanzas of my entire epic poem about September 11th reads as follows:

We know so well that life’s a hell,                   
            And living’s wracked with pain.
Our time on Earth seems hardly worth
            The mediocre gain.
Since time began the hurt of man
            Has plagued this giant ball,
And some suggest we nuke the rest
            To quickly end it all.

 

            This stanza—which you can find at the end of chapter four—raises an important question: why is life worth living? Most of us, of course, do not think that we should destroy the planet in order to get rid of human pain, but there are times, during the darkest days of our span on Earth, where many find it rather tempting to destroy themselves. People often commit suicide out of despair that their life is going nowhere, that their actions are meaningless, or that the only thing they have to gain from living is more pain. Obviously, I do not believe they are right, but how do I counteract their arguments?

            The way I would respond to someone who is suicidal in real life would obviously depend upon the stability of their circumstances. Someone who is about to shoot themselves must be answered with diplomacy, not with drawn out philosophical questions. However, I believe that the only long-term, self-sufficient answer to their problem is the gospel. I believe that Jesus died for them and that they have the possibility of an eternal future in heaven with God if they will repent of their sins and accept Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross with faith. I believe that it is very easy to enjoy life if you believe that God will save you from your sins and reward you personally in eternity for all the good you do. Taken by itself, life on Earth is extremely futile. But if you believe that your actions have eternal consequences, then suddenly you can enjoy its passing moments because of what God is doing through you.

            Many times, however, humans cling to hopes that are incomplete or impotent.  Some people live for their jobs. This is a stupid way to find meaning in life because job situations can change quickly, and they often change for the worse. More than that, this argument comes dangerously close to equating meaning in life to having money, and anyone who has ever had money knows that it does not satisfy one or make them happy. A much better reason to live is for personal relationships. We all know deep down inside that it is wrong for us to cause pain to our families. However, even this reason is stripped of its power if there is no God or heaven.  How can someone care about the fate of fellow human beings if they believe that humans are no more than a complicated mixture of chemicals?

            Furthermore, what if all your family members are dead, or what if they hate you? The answer to this conundrum, once again, comes from the gospel. Even if no one on Earth loves you, God still does. He loved you so much that He literally died for you. You are a wonderful creation with wonderful potential. Not only does He want you to live with Him in heaven, but God has created a family for you to enjoy here on Earth before you die. If you repent and become a Christian you will suddenly find that you have millions of brothers and sisters whom you have never met before. From the moment they meet you they will feel obligated to care for you and love you.

            God is waiting for you, and he has a family for you to meet. Listen to His call. We want to meet you now.

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Ecclesiastes 1:2-4 “ ‘Vanity of vanities,’ says the Preacher; ‘Vanity of vanities, all is vanity.’ What profit has a man from all his labor In which he toils under the sun? One generation passes away, and another comes; but the earth abides for ever.”

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Hebrews 11:13-16 “These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For those who say such things declare plainly that they seek a homeland. And truly if they had called to mind that country from which they had come out, they would have had opportunity to return. But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them.”

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