Why are we here?

In Christian circles I’ve heard a couple of reasons for “why we are here”.  One of those reasons is “to glorify God”.  I used to blindly accept this but I’m coming to the place where I’d say I disagree with that.  I believe there’s a much better reason for “why we are here”.

We are here to love each other.

Simple, yet profound.  In this world of so many broken and hurting people I believe our greatest purpose is to extend love and grace and acceptance and gentleness and forgiveness.  It is the outworking of love that truly changes people’s lives.  Love does not use coercion or fear to elicit a desired behaviour from someone.  It does not stem from our own sense of shame.

Love brings freedom.

Freedom from fear, freedom from shame, freedom from obligation.  Having experienced love I believe our natural response is to love in return.  And I think the world would be a better place if we learned to do that.

I’ve been volunteering once a week at my daughter’s class at school.  It’s only been a couple of weeks but I’m coming to know and love the children there.  I get the impression that some of these children do not come from the most loving of families.  And I can’t help but think what some love and gentleness could do for them.  I understand that life is not that simple, however I do believe that if people (whether they are children or adults) feel safe and loved in their environment they will do much better than if they don’t feel those things.  Where often our responses are to address the behaviours (the symptoms), if love and understanding were applied to the roots, I think many behaviours would diminish or disappear.

You may think me idealistic (and I probably am) but I still believe that love is a better way, a better approach, than anything else.  And I would rather “be here” to be an agent of God’s love to the world than anything else.  I believe we all need it.

4 Responses

  1. I AGREE! After Dad died I thought about this a lot. I do think his life glorified God. But when I thought of his life, and what he’d left behind, and who he was… That’s what stood out to me. It was what we put on his tombstone. Loved a lot. He loved and was loved. At the end of my life, that’s what I would want to leave behind too.

    November 26, 2013 at 10:41 pm

    • carolannetebay

      I hear ya, Becky! That’s what I’d want people to remember me by as well.

      November 27, 2013 at 8:35 pm

  2. Good thoughts. I do believe, however, that loving others IS a way that we glorify God. When Jesus was asked what the Greatest Commandment is, He said it was first to Love God with all your heart, soul and mind. Second, it was to love others. I think that the two things go hand-in-hand. I think that a life which glorifies God puts loving others at the forefront.

    Matthew 22:36-40
    New Living Translation (NLT)
    36 “Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?”

    37 Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’[a] 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[b] 40 The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.”

    November 27, 2013 at 7:17 am

    • carolannetebay

      Kim, I think we both agree that the ‘greatest’ is to love God and love each other. But I find it interesting that in my experience the focus tends to be on other things, such as ‘to glorify God’. I’m not saying this is a bad thing but I think it takes the focus off the better thing. A person could say they glorify God with their singing on Sunday morning and the next day treat their employee like dirt but in their mind think they glorify God. Jesus DIDN’T say that the greatest commandment is to glorify God. He said it is to love God and love each other. So why don’t people focus on that? We can think we’re doing all sorts of things to glorify God but if we do not have love, it means nothing (1 Corinthians 13:1-3). That’s the point I’m trying to make.

      November 27, 2013 at 8:46 pm