An Inverted Value System

This entry is part 23 of 26 in the series A Life of Wisdom

A New Paradigm

A paradigm is a way of seeing the world. Perhaps the greatest example of a paradigm shift is the Copernican revolution, in which people moved from a geocentric to a heliocentric view of the solar system.

In the same way, each one of us needs a Copernican shift from an egocentric world to a Christocentric world. We must dethrone self and enthrone Christ every day.

But our natural inclination is to seek autonomy and self-aggrandizement. This shows itself in the way we pray. We ask God for things He never promised, but we expect Him to do them for us. The fact is, we usually don’t know what we really need because the human heart is desperately wicked. We have chosen our will over God’s.

The Lord’s Prayer (Matthew 6:9–13) inverts our egocentrism. Three things we naturally seek in our egocentric mindset are 1) a good reputation for ourselves, 2) a greater sphere of influence, and 3) the fulfillment of our own desires. But the Lord’s Prayer teaches us to elevate God’s name (“Hallowed be Your name”), to ask for God’s influence to expand over all the earth (“Your kingdom come”), and to desire God’s will over our own (“Your will be done”). By praying and internalizing the Lord’s Prayer, we surrender our self-centeredness and place God at the center of our lives.

Temporal vs. Eternal

It is sometimes said that Jesus spoke more about money than any other topic. Money, however, was just one example Jesus used to draw a dichotomy between the temporal and the eternal.

The key question is: Where is our treasure? Is it with Christ, or is it on earth? The biggest mistakes we make in life are mathematical. We miscalculate the brevity of life and the length of eternity. As a result, we lay up our treasure where moth and rust destroy and thieves break in and steal (Matthew 6:19).

That is why Jesus’ teachings always sound upside-down to the world. You must be the servant of all in order to be great (Matthew 20:25–28). You must lose your life to find it (Matthew 10:39). It is better to give than to receive (Acts 20:35). Christ preaches the infinite worth of that which is seemingly worthless, and the infinite worthlessness of that which is seemingly valuable.

We are all living on borrowed time to accomplish unfinished business. Do not presume you have even one year left. Live each day in light of that Day. Ask yourself in every circumstance: Will this word or action be pleasing to Christ? And by the power of the H0ly Spirit, let us choose His name, kingdom, and will over our own.

Watch more of Ken Boa’s Friday morning study videos here.

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