1: “We know there is something wrong with us, but we can’t admit it or identify it,” Tim Keller writes in Every Good Endeavor.

“There is a deep restlessness, which can take various forms—guilt and striving to prove ourselves, rebellion and the need to assert our independence, compliance and the need to please others,” he observes. 

“Something is wrong, and we may know the effects, but we fall short of understanding the true causes.”

2: Earlier this week, we reviewed Tim’s analysis of the Adam and Eve story. Everything changed when they disobeyed God, ate from the Tree of Life, and were banished from the Garden of Eden. 

“When Adam and Eve disobeyed [God’s] command, they did become ‘like God,’ as the serpent (who deceived them into disobedience) said they would,” Tim writes. “That is, they put themselves in God’s place; they took upon themselves the right to decide how they should live and what was right and wrong for them to do.” 

Becoming “like God” has been catastrophic, Tim observes.

Our situation is like that of a sailboat that has been designed to sail in the water. “If it runs aground it is damaged and useless,” he notes. “We human beings’ run aground’ when we choose to be our own source of authority.”

Christians believe “we were designed to know, serve, and love God supremely—and when we are faithful to that design, we flourish,” Tim writes. “But when we instead chose to live for ourselves, everything began to work backward. After this turning point the human race began to live against the grain of our making and purpose.”

As the apostle Paul observes, the entire world is now “subject to decay.” (Romans 8 XYZ)

Or, as the poet W.B. Yeats writes: “Things fall apart.”

Indeed, they do. 

“Nothing works now as it should,” Tim notes. “Sin leads to the disintegration of every area of life: spiritual, physical, social, cultural, psychological, temporal, eternal.”

Regarding our work: “Everyone will be forgotten, nothing we do will make any difference, and all good endeavors, even the best, will come to naught,” Tim notes. 

3: Given this grim reality, where do we find our hope? In God, Christians believe. 

“If the God of the Bible exists, and there is a True Reality beneath and behind this one, and this life is not the only life, then every good endeavor, even the simplest ones, pursued in response to God’s calling, can matter forever,” Tim observes. “That is what the Christian faith promises.”

Paul writes, “In the Lord, your labor is not in vain.” (1 Corinthians 15:58). 

More tomorrow.


Reflection: Where do I find my hope?

Action: Discuss with a family member, friend, or colleague.

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