Thursday, January 8, 2009

Don't Drink to Deeply

Have you ever longed for a cool refreshing beverage on a hot day? Perhaps you have whetted you whistle under less extenuating circumstances. So many of us indulge our appetites and desires on a rather continual basis without thought to the message this sends heavenly hosts. Without inquiring if something is essential we incorporate wish fulfillment as a regular part of our daily regimen.

Are we too live like paupers avoiding the pleasures God has given? We reason God gave us food and wants us to happy right? This rhetorical question is misleading because happiness has not been defined. If we define happiness on our own terms than we can freely justify the pleasures we seek. Furthermore we often elevate our own happiness at the expense of others. This is perhaps the crux of the problem.

In determining what the rights would be of the future citizens of this United States of America the framers of the constitution had to determine when and how the rights of others could be fulfilled. They knew that in order to preserve equality rights must exist without infringing on anyone else's rights. They realized that a person can only have so much freedom without taking away from another person's freedom. The keys to understanding how to solve the equation of freedoms/rights of the individual versus the freedoms/rights of the group involves our free will and the limitation of resources. Thus a person's rights extend in so far as their choices do not inhibit the choices of others or the resources available to others.

In a world with fallen human nature free will can enable amazing accomplishments or destructive decisions. In a fallen world our resources are limited due to their selfish distribution. As man digresses, correct use of free will and the allocation of resources becomes more and more uncommon. Therefore we have to consider that what would in an ideal world be fine for a person to consume or enjoy becomes self-centered in a world where so many others are limited.

We are in a war and as such we need to remember to be frugal to conserve for the conflict. I think this was the concept employed by the early church in the book of Acts. The author states that all things were held in common and sold as they were needed by members of the community. Does this imply that all goods were equally distributed. I think that would be false. Certainly those that produced more goods had responsibility over more. Fellow believers simply recognized the need to support each other.

In conclusion God has made the world that we might marvel at His handiwork. He wants us to enjoy His creation. But in the age of conflict we need to remember not to drink to deeply lest we forget to hand a cup of water to the thirsty souls among us.

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