Sunday, December 28, 2014

Playing with the Cards We're Dealt

Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address said, after thousands were wantonly, and even unnecessarily killed
"...and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal." 
What is equality? Does it mean that we're all born with the same flaws and attributes? Are men only equal in a spiritual sense? Or possibly does it mean that we have the same opportunity? "Equality" does mean "being equal"! Most think of "social equality", meaning that we all are deserved of the same rights. Lincoln could not have meant that because women couldn't vote at that time, few men had property, people had different degrees of security, etc. What "equality" was it to which Lincoln referred?

Any person knows that we're all born different. Some people are runts and some are bulls. Some are intelligent and some are slow-witted and of little intelligence. Others are beautiful and some are uglier than sin. Some have attributes of perfection and some are deformed. Some are allowed to live full-term and others die in the womb. To the eye men are not created equal.

What inherent characteristic must it be then that men are "created equal". Lincoln surely was referring to someone's standards! My own eye, as does yours, sees inequality between people. Whose frame of reference does "created equal" mean? It has to refer to the Creator and only the Creator. Lincoln even spelled it out!

Without the Creator there is no equality! Did you ever consider that? God is what makes us all equal! That's of what Lincoln was speaking.
Romans 2:11  "For there is no respect of persons with God."
We have an impartial God! What we look like, how intelligent we are, nor what color we are, has any bearing in the eyes of God. The mentally deficient are the same as the most intelligent in God's eyes! There was a pattern and a mold for each of us. None of us were created entirely unique.
Genesis 1:27  "So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them."
It's easy to see that man and woman were "created equal". However, it wasn't social equality because Adam was to hold dominion over everything. Hence, it's spiritual equality in which we were created, and a wise Creator wasn't much for women's rights! Therefore, social inequality IS the intent of God.

I've always contended that God knew the form he was to take on when he became incarnate. He had in mind a body, mind and soul of Jesus who was to become incarnate. With that said, Jesus wasn't created in our image, but man in his! That's important. Jesus came to us to be one of us. Even Jesus was "created equal" to us, we being just like him except in love and obedience!

People ask why God allows babies to be born with deformities, retardation and inherited diseases. The answer is simple. We are reaping what Adam sewed. He and Eve were disobedient and each had curses put on them. Everyone would have been born perfect and disease free if our progenitors had been happy with what they had! Now we pay the price. Life isn't easy on some, but "the meek shall inherit the earth" said Jesus. (Matthew 5:5). Meek people are imperfect people in human eyes. We think of unattractive, obedient, or introverted people as "meek". Those folks were created in the image of Jesus! Because they are like Jesus gives them a "thumbs up" in the eyes of the Creator. Some people are just born with a meek disposition. Even in Creation there are some differences, but the differences are on our value to God!
Galatians 3:28 "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus."
Jesus loves everybody because all have equal value. The Creator is the frame of reference as Lincoln well observed! The point made is that "without God there is NO equality"! It's all a facade because we are all different in all other respects! Our inequality is obvious to us while our equality is hidden to those outside Christ.  Feminists lie to themselves. They are different and deny what they see in the mirror and ignore what Meyers-Briggs Tests reveal! Men and women were created the same to God, but with very different attributes. Even the names of the genders reveal differences and our bodies were wisely designed with opposite tools  to procreate and multiply! Those who try to fit a large square into a smaller square are denying their very existence.

I wrote an Ode to Johnny Sanders yesterday. Johnny was born unequal in speech, appearance, health, maybe intelligence, and wealth. However, Johnny was born more than equal in meekness, character, genuineness, and the ability to love. His birth differences were attributes! He used what was lacking to be more pronounced in what God had given him. He was a short man, but stood tall! While most people saw Johnny as pitiful, he was already a pillar in the kingdom of God! His meekness allowed him to truly "inherit the earth". Whereas, others saw inequality in stature and excellence, God saw and excellent man.  I enjoyed the presence of this fine person who was rejected by most, and God made me appreciate him for the blessings he modeled to  me!

Johnny played well with the deck of cards he was dealt. He had few aces and kings, but God blessed him with trumps and wild cards! Johnny made the best from the least. While he had little to brag about, and meek men don't, he used what he had as motivation. He worked harder with incapacity than most people do with ample capacity. Johnny was never wealthy, but he made his own way. Never did he totally depend on others, as many people would, but worked hard to the best of his ability. Johnny played a fine game of life!

Others are dealt many aces, kings, queens and even an abundance of wild cards. They have the ability to trump even the most powerful player. However, many who play with a good hand use the powerful cards unwisely! For instance, brilliant people with the capacity for greatness, choose to dull their minds with alcohol, marijuana and even hard drugs. They play a poor hand. With the hand they were dealt, life would be easy, but they prefer flying with turkeys rather than soaring with the eagles. It kills me to see people who smoke, drink, use drugs and get piercings and tattoos, ask for change to pay their rent! If living was of value to them, they would earn a living, rather than making bold statements on their lack of need of others. By being rebellious against society, they join a legion of rebels and become the norm. The new "normal people" consists of those who claim to be alternate.

I play cards often myself. I have the same chance of success if I use my wiles, given the same number of cards, but certainly cards of unequal value. Sometimes, I'm not motivated and merely lay down the cards I dealt. I stand little chance of winning. Even with good cards, without a strategy, others more motivated will defeat me!

At other times I wince at the cards which I was dealt! However, I don't give up. If I play them wisely, make temporary sacrifices in favor of long term gain, and play smarter than my opponent, I can still win.

Life is the same way! We can either play the cards we were dealt or merely cast them aside and depend on our partner. Many look toward others to win for them. Those players become losers and if they play the cards of life in the same manner, they are guaranteed a losers life. Oftentimes, players enjoy the chat over the game. They play merely for pleasure and winning has little sparkle. Those who behave by putting pleasure over strategy become happy losers. They are just fine with letting others be the "Little Red Hen" who works hard to provide for those who don't!

Equality in life, then, is non-existent. Neither does equality mean "equal outcomes". God merely makes us equal in opportunity for eternal life, but even most people don't play the Creator's cards with any enthusiasm. Lackadaisical Christians seems to be an oxymoron because love takes effort. Loving is working! People just won't work out their salvation and jeopardize hope for eternity.
Philippians 2:12 "Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling."

Yes, we all have to do something to get God's gift. We receive what is offered and believing is what it takes to accept! Most people don't even play those cards right! They figure they'll play for the fun of it, and at the last hand make a strong comeback! By then it may be too late. Your opponent may have the "joker" who foils your attempt!

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