I love chocolates; my size gives it away. It is my addiction. So I surmised on chocolates and made my surmising spiritual this time! A chocolate is not a thing in itself. Woven into its very existence is its purpose and that purpose is for the use of others, like me! Yum!
That caused me to surmise on the human being. Are humans the only ones who feel that they are an end in themselves? Are we the only ones who have misunderstood the nature of our creation? Could it be that when we lost our purest purpose way back in Eden we lost perspective and became those who wanted to be served rather than those who would fulfil their purpose to serve?
When John wrote his first epistle he spoke of this “means to an end” nature in the DNA of redeemed humanity.
“This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.” (1 John 3:16)
”Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.” (1 John 4: 11-12)
In the very same sentence in which John speaks of God loving us, he speaks of us then loving others. They are not two sides to the one coin but they are the very same side of the coin. It is one movement of God to love us and for that movement of love to continue into the action of us then loving others. In the self absorbed, egotistical spirit of our time, this is a radical upside down way to look at the purpose of our existence, lives and actions. When the world revolves around making our lives as comfortable and luxuriously decadent as possible, we live lives that see others as more important than ourselves, as Paul mentions quite often in his letters.
Even our salvation can take on the spirit of the age and it can all be about my place in heaven rather than being about my redeemed function here on earth. Thanks be to God that eternal life is certain for those who are in Christ but that is not the end of our salvation. The Bible never speaks of us being called to heaven; we are called to serve God on earth by bringing love and grace and truth to the world that he created and longs to redeem.