230905 – The Foolishness of Man 人的愚拙

Psalm 90:10 (NKJV) The days of our lives are seventy years; and if by reason of strength they are eighty years, yet their boast is only labour and sorrow; For it is soon cut off, and we fly away.

The foolish men that the Bible refers to are those who ignorantly or knowingly choose to live in the deception that life on earth is all there is. While man tends to think only of their time on earth, God has eternity in perspective. Scripture tells us that we may live 70 to 80 years and boast only of our labour, but because it is built on the temporal, it contributes nothing to eternity, nor we bring the earthly rewards with us.

The world tells us to build our identity on our self-worth, which is based on our achievements and status, and dictates to us the kinds of lifestyle and assets we should have. Unfortunately, it doesn’t tell us that life is still empty when we have made it, because it is building our foundation on the sand. This is how we identify ourselves in the “old man”, and sadly, the applause from men will stop one day because the world operates on conditional love, and we have played a part in empowering them.

At every stage of life, we are susceptible to having an identity crisis. Someone who first starts working is ready to prove themselves to the world. Unfortunately, everything that can be achieved by our own strength can also be overtaken by another. Securing the top spot will still make them feel empty and insecure because they don’t know when they’ll be unseated.

Those further down their career path may go through transitions such as redundancy, career stagnation, or starting their own business. Losing their old position of significance can trigger a “mid-life crisis”. Meanwhile, retirees may feel a sudden sense of loss as their responsibilities, title and lifestyle all stop overnight. If it coincides with the empty nest years, their spouse who no longer has children who need their care and support may also feel lost and insignificant, adding further tension to the marriage.

Whatever roles we are in, we can be living out God’s will for our lives, which includes doing well in our job or business, but the focus should be to glorify Him by witnessing for Him in the community where we are placed. That is laying up treasures in heaven and what counts for eternity.

God has given us a superior identity and foundation. Let’s reach out to Him in faith and reconstruct our lives with this identity if necessary, because it will hold us up in the transitions of life, and help us to refocus and pray through what God wants us to do. We can pick ourselves up without being affected by what people think or say because we God is our only audience—this is the wise man that Jesus was referring to.

Sermon Series: He Came to Give You a New Identity (Part 2)


诗篇  90:10 我们一生的年日是七十岁。若是强壮可到八十岁。但其中所矜夸的,不过是劳苦愁烦。转眼成空,我们便如飞而去。

圣经所指愚拙的人是那些愚昧地或有意地选择活在虚谎之中的人,相信尘世的生命就是全部。 虽然人类倾向于只考虑他们在地球上日子,但上帝有永恒的视角。 圣经告诉我们,我们可能活到 70 到 80 岁,所能矜夸的只是自己的劳苦,但因为它是建立在一时之上的,它对永恒没有任何贡献,而那地上的奖赏我们也带不走。

世界告诉我们要将我们的身份建立在在自我价值之上,这是基于我们的所取得的成就和地位,并规定我们应该拥有什么样的生活方式和资产。 不幸的是,它并没有告诉我们,当我们成功时,生命却依旧空虚,因为这是在沙地上立根基。 这就是我们如何在“老我”中识别自己,可悲的是,人的掌声终有一天会停止,因为世界是在有条件的爱上运作的,而我们也赋予它如此运作的权力。

在人生的每个阶段,我们都容易出现身份危机。 第一个开始工作的人已经准备好向世界证明自己。 可惜,凡是靠自己的力量所能做到的,也可能被别人超越。 稳居榜首仍然会让他们感到空虚和不安全,因为他们不知道自己什么时候会被赶下台。

那些在职业道路上走得更远的人可能会经历裁员、职业停滞或自己创业等过渡。 失去原有的重要地位可能会引发“中年危机”。 与此同时,退休人员可能会突然感到一种失落感,因为他们的责任、头衔和生活方式都在一夜之间停止了。 如果恰逢空巢年,不再有需要照顾和支持的孩子的配偶也可能会感到失落和无足轻重,导致婚姻更加紧张。

无论我们扮演什么角色,我们都可以活出上帝对我们生命的旨意,这包括在我们的工作或业务上得心应手,但重点应该是通过在我们所处的社区为祂作见证来荣耀祂。 那就是积攒财宝在天上,积攒一切具备永恒价值的事物。

上帝给了我们一个优越的身份和基础。让我们凭着信心向祂伸手,必要时以这个身份重新构建我们的生命,因为它会在生命的转变中支撑我们,帮助我们重新集中注意力祷告求问上帝,祂对我们的计划,直到心中确定。 我们可以振作起来,不受人们的想法或言论的影响,因为上帝是我们唯一的听观众——这就是耶稣所指的智者。


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