In our zeal, we sometimes find ourselves saying things like, “The Gospel is not about your personal happiness.” We do this to urge obedience, and, overall, I think we should keep doing this.
However, it’s something of a simplification of the truth. The truth is: the Gospel is about our personal happiness. God loves us, and wants us to be happy. The problem is that this is often rationalized to: “If it feels good, do it.”
Here is the actual, complicated but full truth: The Gospel is about your happiness. However, you are not in charge of it. Your job in the Gospel basically comes down to: obey, and surrender. What happiness you find in the way is yours to keep, and with good will. But you are not aiming for “a full life,” or personal fulfillment. You are to lay up treasures in heaven, rather than on earth.
So, we need to be good at taking long shots.
And since we’re all about learning from the world here at CB, we’ll take a page from those other constant long-shot takers, gamblers. And the first rule of gambling is:
Don’t bet more than you can afford to lose.
Well now. This puts us in a quandary. The Gospel urges us to take long shots, and because they’re long shots, we’ll most likely lose—so how to deal? The answer is: be able to afford it. Turning the other cheek will get you hit a lot—make sure you have some antibiotics and bandages at home.
If you tithe, or give to charity, that does not absolve you from being wise with your finances. As everyone knows, giving money away is not a very good method of holding onto it. The windows of heaven are promised, yes, but they might not come in time to pay the rent. So: save. Be prudent. Have a reserve.
And, back to the sexy focus of this blog (as you can see, I am not above drawing the reader in with sex and money): don’t be nice to women if you can’t do it out of charity. Better to avoid them completely. Rather, you should build your emotional reserves. Sleep enough. Eat well. Save some money. Exercise. Don’t gamble with your rent money.