Some Haunting Questions

Have you ever received an email or text message that hit you hard and you couldn’t get it out of your mind?  Well, that happened to me last week.  I received a short email from a dear friend.  In the email, he simply shared some questions with me.  After reading it, I tried to move on with some work I had to do.  However, those questions kept coming up in my mind and, no matter what I tried to do, I couldn’t stop thinking about them.

The first question was actually a quote by John Piper from his book, God is the Gospel.

If you could have heaven, with no sickness, and with all the friends you ever had on earth, and all the food you ever liked, and all the leisure activities you ever enjoyed, and all the natural beauties you ever saw, all the physical pleasures you ever tasted, and no human conflict or any natural disasters, could you be satisfied with heaven, if Christ were not there?

I encourage you to carefully read that quote again.  It is a profound question to ponder.  I know what my verbal response would be.  I would boldly declare, of course not.  But then I found myself thinking about how I live my everyday life.  Do I seek the blessings of knowing Christ or do I seek Him?

This would have been convicting enough but my friend’s email took Piper’s quote and applied it to a real life example.  My friend wrote,

Now take that question and change it.

If you could have a school that had all the latest technology, a very competitive sports program, academically excellent, high ACT and SAT scores, a creative arts and drama program, high involvement in community and service projects, humanitarian global mission teams, moral and ethical students, high graduation rates, and a high percentage of students going to college, could you be satisfied with that school, if Christ were not there?

He concluded his email to me with an additional question.  Why would we be okay with anything in our lives if Christ were not there?  There is little doubt in my mind that everyone reading this post would say that Christ is more important than all of these other things that are mentioned above.  Yet, if we think about an average day that goes by, do we really seek Christ in everything or do we strive to accomplish all of the other very worthy things that are mentioned in the questions above?

One of the biblical principles that I present in my book, Kingdom Education, is that the education of children and youth must hold Christ preeminent in the entire educational process.  But is it truly a reality in how we live our lives and fulfill our roles in the home, church and/or school?  I enjoy listening to music while I am traveling.  When I started pondering the questions that my friend posed to me, the chorus of Natalie Grant’s song, More Than Anything, came to my mind.

Help me want the Healer more than the healing
Help me want the Savior more than the saving
Help me want the Giver more than the giving
Help me want you Jesus more than anything

I have listened to those words many times before but for the first time I asked myself do I really want the Healer more than the healing, the Savior more than the saving, or the Giver more than the giving?  Do I want Jesus more than anything else?  I am reminded of Paul’s mindset that was behind all that he did.

But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ.  Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, and be found in Him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: That I may know Him… Philippians 3:7-10 (KJV)

What about your life and ministry?  Do you seek Jesus more than anything else?  Maybe an even bigger question is, if not, do you even miss Him?  I am still wrestling with these questions myself!  What are your thoughts?  Share them with others by leaving a comment below.

Glen Schultz

Author Glen Schultz

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Join the discussion 6 Comments

  • Joe Beeson says:

    Excellent post. Thank you for the challenge.

  • Mark Kennedy says:

    Non-believer George Bernard Shaw, actually affirmed part of what you’re saying. “A life filled with happiness, who could bare it!” He said, ” It would be Hell on earth.” He recognized that there is much more to a complete life than merely pursuing happiness or even finding it. Paradoxically he never turned to Christ to discover humanity’s true fulfillment. We North Americans have been conditioned by the advertising industry to be dissatisfied with all sorts of things. We’re driven to chase after bigger and more expensive material possessions while our families and communities fall apart. We think “I would be happy if only I could have ……………” and thereby we accept and confess an externally imposed unhappiness while pursuing a Madison Avenue based fantasy. I hope some day we will become dissatisfied with that, turn away from it and find our meaning in Christ, “In whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” I think that is called “revival”.

    • Glen Schultz says:

      As always you bring some great insight into this topic. Bigger is not always better. Our motivations are key to everything we do.

  • Annie Gallagher says:

    Glen, thank you for your convicting and thought provoking blog post. Frequently, I sit before the Lord and beg him to reveal to me if my heart’s intent is for God or for Man. Looking back on some of my past choices, they have been motivated from a humanly perspective, rather than Christ focused. I turn to Psalm 37:4 “Delight yourself in the LORD; And He will give you the desires of your heart. ” (NASB) This delight requires acknowledgement and commitment to God’s truth. As I acknowledge his trustworthiness, love and concern for me, I deepen my commitment. A movement takes place in my heart for my desires to be his desires. It’s a daily commitment for me.

    As I work alongside teachers, coaching them to see how Christ is revealed in their subject area content, there is a common concern that arises. “Planning units in which my students are challenged to see worldview ideas revealed in my course content takes additional time out of my scope and sequence. How am I supposed to teach so Christ is revealed in my content, and still meet the standards I’m to cover?

    Colossians 2:8 provides the rationale as well as the imperative for taking the time needed to teach so Christ is revealed. “See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ” (Col 2:8 NASB). God’s word says, “See to it”. It’s not a suggestion.

    How we, as Christian educators, respond to this imperative in our lives and in the lives of our students seems to line up with the question your friend has challenged us with. Are we okay with anything if Christ is not there?

    I’m convicted…thank you for the redirection.

    Annie Gallagher, Transformed PD

    • Glen Schultz says:

      Psalm 37:4 is one of my favorite verses. Someone once said that “delighting” is to be “immersed in”. When this happens, our heart’s desire will be inline with His heart and, therefore, He will give us that. Thanks for your feedback.