I love life. I love the Sunday afternoon roar of the crowds at the Masters. I love four-wheel driving on the red rocks in Moab, Utah. I love the smile that dolphins perpetually wear. I love the smell of fresh-baked apple pie. I love life. God has given us so much to love!
But . . . you knew there was a “but” coming. The danger is that we can love life more than we love God.
Oh, it’s not sinful to love life. Life itself is not an idol. But life quickly becomes and idol when we love life more than we love God. He created us for joy, satisfaction, and pleasure. Yet loving life becomes sinful when we find ultimate joy, satisfaction, and pleasure in the gift rather than the Giver.
So, we must fight the ever-present desire to love life more than we love God. And we must fight with the truth.
The truth is that God is better than the stuff of life, even life itself. I love how David, a man of deep passion, puts it in Psalm 63:3: “Your lovingkindness is better than life.”
Why is God’s “lovingkindness better than life”? All the gifts of life are temporary. Yet God’s lovingkindness, according to one, is “love that never gives up, never gives out, and never gives in.” That kind of love, David says, is better than life.
And the key is believing this truth moment by moment. How?
Whenever you experience a gift in life that brings pleasure, joy, or satisfaction—simply offer a prayer of thanks to the God who gave you this gift. In this way, you can consistently remember the truth so that you do not turn the gift into an idol. Instead, this Thanksgiving (and always), love life. And love God more.
For more thoughts on this theme, see the sermon here “Enjoy God’s World”