The Meaning we Make Up (part eight)
Today, we finish our discussion about creating meaning for the experiences of life, so they make sense. We humans have a pretty tough time just letting life unfold… especially when what unfolds is awful.
We want to be little “gods” reigning supreme over the affairs of our and others’ lives as if we’d been imbued with divine wisdom, consistently choose the moral high ground, and suspend self-interest when it invites us to break from principle.
But, we don’t have divine potency and still, we want to run things—and often live as if we do.
So, how do you decide what your life’s experiences mean?
Last time, I invited you to consider that, above all else, God’s intention is to grow you to maturity in Christ. [Jas 1:4] Second, that you who are in Christ, are (present tense) God’s poema: God’s masterpiece, prepared to do good in the world. [Eph 2:10]
The God of the universe claims you to be the work of his creative artistry so that good gets done through you.
To these, we add one final perspective to help you interpret life.
More common is the assumption of causality: what I get, I deserve. If something good happens, I merited it. If trouble, I earned that too.
Against these views stands Romans 8:28: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
For those who sincerely love and follow God, in every experience of life God is working for good. This doesn’t mean everything that happens is good. It means, in the midst of it, God intends to work it out for good—specifically for your good.
When working with dozens of pastors who are my coaching clients, I challenge them to search for the good in the midst of trouble. And I coach myself this way too.
In Acts 14. Paul is in Lystra healing the sick and pointing to Christ, like a champ. Next thing you know, he gets beaten within an inch of his life! The cultural assumption is that Paul blew it. He did something to provoke that attack.
Yet, you don’t see Paul collapsing in a puddle of tears. He doesn’t give up the ministry because some mob almost killed him. He (apparently) gets prayer, then he and Barney head off to Derbe where they win a bunch of people to Christ.
Buoyed by the reality of Rom 8:28, you can face life’s setbacks with stamina in the hope that God’s at work for your good…if you choose to believe it.
Coaching Distinctions #29