“Non nobis solum nati sumus. (Not for ourselves alone are we born.)” ― Marcus Tullius Cicero
Let me start my stating an obvious truth: you are not the owner of the life you have! You are a product of God’s creation and He brought you into existence for a purpose.
You were solely designed to meet His need here on earth. The holy book unambiguously affirms God’s proprietorship of our lives, when it states:
“Then the LORD God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being…”- Genesis 2:7.
So, it is preposterous for anyone to assume self-ownership of life. In fact, the phrase, ‘my life’ is a misnomer, because life was not created by you, and it does not belong to you. You only have the ‘life of God’ in you, that is subject to a time span-your lifetime. Please let this truth sink into your consciousness, because a lot of us are self-deluded to grasp this fundamental veracity of their existence.
Another significant truth about life is that, all of God’s creations subsist on the principle of mutual dependence. In order words, everything depends on each other for survival. For example, Plants need the light from the sun and carbon dioxide exhaled by animals, to carry out the process of photosynthesis, which enables it to produce food for animals (including human beings) to survive.
If the sun refuses to give out light, the process of photosynthesis would be impeded, and plants would not be able to produce food for animals to eat. When this happens, there would be famine and starvation that could lead to the extermination of mankind. This is just a synopsis of the complex web of interrelationship and mutualism that exist among God’s creations.
In the same veins, as humans, we are also depending on each other for survival. No human being can exist on its own. You need provision, support and collaboration from others, to enhance your existential wellbeing. Please also note that, you were not created for yourself alone. God did not create you, so that you can work, make money and provide for yourself and your family alone. A self-centered life is an abuse of life. When you refuse to help others, you cause them to suffer lack, you deny them of survival, and that is the most grievous sin you can ever commit against God and humanity.
The biblical story of Jesus encounter with the Fig tree that was greenish without fruits acutely depicts the nauseating egocentric lifestyle that many of us ignominiously display today in our world.
Matthew 11: 12-14 says:
“The next day as they were leaving Bethany, Jesus was hungry .Seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to find out if it had any fruit. When he reached it, he found nothing but leaves, because it was not the season for figs. Then he said to the tree, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again.” And his disciples heard him say it.
He cursed the fig tree, and the bible recorded that the following day, when they passed through the same road, the disciples curiously noticed that the fig tree He cursed the previous day, had tried up from the root. Another bible translation says, He was hungry and He saw the fig tree…and was expecting to find fruits on it…obviously to eat. But He was disappointed that the tree had used the ‘resources of life’ to provide for itself alone, that made its leaves greenish.
Remember during photosynthesis, part of the food produced is used by the plants for its nourishment, and the excess is stored as external fruits for animal to feed on (the plants obey the law of fruitfulness). So, as far as Christ was concerned, the fig tree disobeyed the law of fruitfulness by its refusal to bear fruits and this caused His lack for the fruit He expected to eat from the tree.
The sad reality is that many of us today, live ‘greenish’ lifestyle just like the biblical fig tree. We callously live for ourselves alone: life begins and ends with us. We are so disconnected from others. We don’t care about the welfare of our neighbors. We have a society where many people go to bed hungry, and we don’t give a damn! Whereas, we have enough to eat and even throw-away. If you go to the dustbin of the ‘rich’, you are likely to find more food there, than the kitchen of the poor.
Many people go about near-naked, children on the street wear tattered clothes, while many of us have wardrobes, stacked with clothes that have never worn for the past three years. We build fifty bed-room mansions; sleep in only one room, while many people have no roof over their head. Many bridges in our cities have been converted to permanent abode for destitute and street children. We value material possessions above human lives. What a tragedy!
Each time we move on the streets, we see palpable poverty, and the suffering that our fellow human beings go through every day, and yet we are never moved with compassion, to put smile on their faces. We are cool with our lives. But you are wrong brother! You can never be cool with your ‘greenish’ egocentric and narcissistic life. Your self-centered life is creating lack and deprivation for others. Your greed is endangering the survival of others. You are robbing others of the ‘life of God’ that could flow from you, to them.
Don’t you know you could pay a hospital bill that will save a life? You could invest in the life of an indigent child and as he grows up, instead of taking to crime, he becomes a responsible citizen of the society. The good you do for others could create a ripple effect that will ultimately engender a better society for all? Come on, why are you wicked to humanity? So, you expect God to be happy with your vain life. You know what you are? You are a robber, a thief, who steals the ‘life of God’ and convert it to personal property, and calls it ‘my life’. Mind you, you would give account of the life you have wasted on yourself, to your creator at the expiration of your time on earth.
In the parable of the talent, Christ enunciated the significance of creating value with our lives that is indicative of our service to others. He told us a story of a master, who was about to embark on a journey, that gave different talents (resources)-ten, five, two and one to his servants, expecting them to trade (create and exchange value with it). But on his return, all except, the person that had one talent refused to trade with it. He chose to bury his talent and the master was furious with him for his wickedness.
Hear the masters’ rebuke in Matthew 25: 24-28:
“He also who had received the one talent came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you scattered no seed, so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here, you have what is yours. But his master answered him, ‘you wicked and slothful servant! You knew that I reap where I have not sown and gather where I scattered no seed, then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest. So take the talent from him and give it to him who has the ten talents”.
God is a business man, your life is his personal investment on earth, and he expects you to create value with it so that his name with will be glorified. Note that your usefulness in life is a measure of the value your life adds to the life of others. You are a joker, to expect God to invest the resources of ‘His life’ on you, so that you could waste it on self-indulgence.
My humble advice to you is this: desist from robbing God with your self-obsessed lifestyle. You have a divine obligation to share the ‘life of God’ in you with others. When you give to help others, who are in need, what you actually give is not material help, but ‘zoe’ – the life of God in you. But, when you refuse to express magnanimity to others, you implicitly deny them of ‘life’. This is a heinous crime against God and humanity.
May God grant us the wisdom, to live for the cause of humanity!
Azemobor Gregory, the International Coordinator of Voice of Divine Truth International Outreach, is a Messenger of Truth and Apostle of Humanity.
Follow him on Instagram: @gazemobor
Facebook: Azemobor Gregory