What gives your life purpose and meaning?
I watched a documentary on Bonnie Elizabeth Parker and Clyde Chestnut Barrow, an American couple who traveled the Central United States with their gang during the Great Depression, known for their bank robberies. Their exploits captured the attention of the American press and its readership between 1931 and 1934. They are believed to have killed at least nine police officers and several civilians. They were killed in May 1934 by law officers in Louisiana.
Someone was quoted (as they defended Bonnie and Clyde robbing banks to give to the less fortunate), “I reckon it is the only thing to do. There ain’t nothing else for people like us to do. It is the best thing to do.” Clyde’s father admitted to police that his son would not give himself up. He would probably need to be put down in a gunfight with lawmen.
Why do people deliberately excuse wrong doing? Why do some take the easy way out, even taking their own lives? Scripture presents scenarios that suggest a few reasons why:
One. Defeat. See 1 Samuel 31:4-6 where King Saul took his own life.
Two. Being disgraced. See 2 Samuel 17:23 where Ahithophel hanged himself.
Three. A sense of guilt. See Matthew 27:5 where Judas hanged himself after betraying Jesus.
Four. Failure. See Acts 16:27 where the Philippian jailer attempted to kill himself, but Paul stopped him.
Five. Deception. See Matthew 4:6 where the devil attempted to entice Jesus to kill himself. Dark forces of the evil one are constantly working to cause us to internalize and succumb to guilt, defeat, and failure. That is why Jesus called satan the father of lies, and one who comes only to steal, kill, and destroy (John 10:10).
Read Psalm 139.
Life is a sacred gift from God. Therefore, we must value and cherish it, and live life to its fullest, because God created us to flourish. It seems apparent that those who attempt to take their own life, and/or harm others like Bonnie and Clyde did, have a distorted view of the value of human life. Committing suicide or killing others is usurping God’s sovereignty over life.
Because He is the Creator, He has authority over His creation (Psalm 139:11-15). Having that authority means He is in ultimate control over life and death like Moses described in Exodus 23:25-26. God has a purpose for our lives, even if we have trouble at times recognizing that, bearing up under it, and prospering from it. That being said, people are often consumed with the idea that life is meaningless.
Your life is no mere accident. God carefully crafted you and says you are His poem, or work of art. (see Ephesians 2:10). The purpose of your life is not derailed due to a few mistakes along the way, or poor choices. The death and resurrection of Jesus erases the mistakes of your past, reveals the depth of God’s love for you today, and provides hope for a brighter future.
Walk wisely. Know who you are as a child of God. You belong to Him. Do not take the easy way out. Learn to embrace the gift of life. Help others find meaning and purpose in Christ.
Love is a verb,
©2019 by Mike Olejarz