Thursday, January 26, 2017

Intrinsic



"If people are good only because they fear punishment, and hope for a reward, then we are a sorry lot indeed."  Albert Einstein


Americans, in my humble opinion, embody this quote.  

"What's in it for me?"

"What will happen to me if I don't?"

Isn’t that what we hear most often from our children?  Sadly, adults are following suit. I wonder…

How many people would file taxes if they KNEW there was no punishment for not filing?

How many people would go to work if they didn't get paid?

What happened to a good, solid work ethic? Putting in a hard day’s work for the sake of doing a good job?

How many people go to church because they are afraid not to?  Either afraid of being judged, or afraid of God's wrath. I grew up in a church like that.  As long as your butt was in the seat, you had fire insurance, if you know what I mean.  And if you weren't there, you better be out of state or dying.  {And I'm not saying don't go to church, I'm just using this as an example to get to my point.}

This is my question:  what ever happened to intrinsic value? 

The Merriam-Webster dictionary has a wonderful definition of intrinsic: “belonging to the essential nature of a thing: occurring as a natural part of something.”  Like breathing.  It’s just part of you.

Intrinsic.  Indwelling. Deep-rooted. Organic.  That “thing” inside that tells you the right thing to do.  Just because it’s right.

When did everything become about getting something in return, or doing something just to avoid punishment or repercussion of some kind?  Whatever happened to doing the right thing just to do the right thing?  Or being kind for the sake of being kind?

What about our relationships with God?  Do we “use” Him to get things?  Are we only interested in His blessings, but not willing to walk in obedience? Do we “love” Him so that He won’t be angry at us or throw a bolt of lightning our way?

“I led them with cords of human kindness,
    with ties of love.
To them I was like one who lifts
    a little child to the cheek,
    and I bent down to feed them.” Hosea 11:4

Our God is so loving and good to us. He doesn’t withhold His kindness or blessings from us even though we deserve none of them!  Our Father’s only motive is love.

“I have loved you with an everlasting love;
    I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.” Jeremiah 31:3b

I have a challenge to everyone who reads this:  do something kind “just because”. The whole "commit random acts of kindness" and "pay it forward" clichés have been around for a while.  But seriously, when is the last time that you did something nice for someone else, just to do it? Not because you wanted anything from them or because you felt you owed them something. Just because.

Do you have an elderly neighbor who is alone 90% of the time?  Go visit.  Take your kids.  Your children would be learning history from one who has lived it, and your neighbor would be filled with joy. We can learn more from one hour talking to older folks and asking them to tell us about their lives than we could in a month of history books.

Do you know someone who had a recent illness or injury?  Ask if you can clean their house. Bring a meal over to them.

Is someone at church looking for a babysitter?  Volunteer your time. Just because it’s the right thing to do.

34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ Matthew 25:34-36


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