MODERN EMPIRICISM AND OUR REASON TO LIVE
Although some of us give up immediately while others do not, every one of us searches for a reason to endure after tragedy strikes. Through spiritual intuition, humans are able to perceive there to be a truth as to why we are here, on a plane of existence concurrent with the experience of pain. This perception of truth acts as an intrinsic, internal compass, insisting there must be more to this existence. Our internal compass is not lying: the truth is, we are here for a reason. Pain seeps in when it feels as though we can’t seem discover what that reason is in our spirit, making the suffering we experience more intolerable, and seemingly less purposeful.
When we can’t seem to understand what our purpose is — what reason we are here for — we have a tendency to fill in the blanks with anything we can to make sense out of our confusion; even if the reason we conjure is an incarnation of merely settling, and not a purpose we find soulful and fulfilling. We do this by using logic and reasoning to help us deduce why we might not be here for, such as, for example— we are not here just to experience pain and then die. We can’t accept that as a truth (nor should we), so we may use logic, which tells us, “If I am going to experience so much pain, I should at least enjoy myself.” There is an aspect to this approach which hinders on our ability to lead a more fulfilling life, and I will explore that in this article.
THE PROBLEM BETWEEN FAITH AND LOGIC
When we turn to relying solely on ratiocination to make sense of life, two titans of existentialism—purpose and meaning—lose substance. Purpose finds value in places such as the awe-inspiring beauty of the sky, the delicate nature of a butterfly’s movements, or the humbling treasure of a child’s playful laugh—because purpose does not measure by size; rather, it measures by significance.
While logic is powered by strict principles confined to this world, purpose is birthed by the ethereal breath of God. Logic and reason may be perspectives through which purpose can be considered—but logic, by itself, cannot explicate the complex mechanism that is life, and simultaneously comprehend the intrinsic aspirations of the soul. When we search for life’s purpose by only using the criterial facets of logic, the search will culminate in disappointment, because the very nature of logic fails to grasp the depth of purpose, nor its measurement of quality.
THE BOND OF PURPOSE WITH FAITH
Logic’s failure to understand the soul is evidenced by its inability to comprehend the significance of purpose. Purpose demands a higher calling for life’s meaning than any intellectual explanation can offer because it is fueled by the substance of faith. Let me explain.
Faith instills a meaningful dimension within our soul nothing else is able to match. When we rely solely on a source outside of faith, the missing interaction between faith and intellect ends up forcing us to turn to the empty, limited verisimilitude of reason. This is what I faced during the stint leading up to my discovery of faith: I came to a breaking point, where I decided if I could not find an authentic reason to keep living, I would end my life. If you have not already, you may read my testimony here. Years later, the wisdom I learned was that logic cannot answer our question of purpose, but faith can.
GOD’S PURPOSE FOR US
Purpose and a meaningful life are particularly fond terms in Christianity. There are two ways to view purpose: Self-determined purpose, built on the tragedy of hedonism; or, on the other hand, God’s purpose for us, birthed from His sovereignty and selfless love.
Our purpose on Earth is to be in relationship with God through Christ. To enter into this purpose, a believer is called to surrender himself to Jesus (Luke 9:23). When a believer resists Christ’s invitation to surrender his life, he denies himself the blessing and fruit of a transformative relationship, planting in his spirit the seed leading to a relationship with the world, in which every rock will be overturned (Mark 13:2).
ACTIVELY SEEKING CHRIST
Logic’s disappointing limitations are evidence enough that relying on it to discover purpose will undermine our search altogether. Instead, we can discover purpose by relying on our relationship with Jesus. Furthermore, we can be assured of the strength of that relationship — and, consequently, the veracity of our purpose — by the manner in which we actively seek Him; His love overcoming our selfishness, His humility exposing our pride; His omnipresence refocusing our loneliness on His unceasing attention to our deepest needs, and His invitation for us to be truly known by belonging to a community of people who live, serve, and love each other by His grace.
Not everyone’s eyes will open, not all ears will hear, but that cannot stop us from sharing the word of God with the whole world. A Christian is set apart from the world by how he loves others (John 13:35). The sheep know their shepherd’s voice (John 10:27). When we hear Jesus calling, we open the door and let Him in to eat with us, and us with Him (Revelations 3:20). It isn’t our decision, whether or not someone will hear Jesus’s call. We are called to be obedient unto Christ, and that is the command we are to follow. Let others witness the power of His Good News in our words and actions, and may He who gives us a heart of flesh (Ezekiel 36:26) soften theirs towards Him as well, in Jesus name.
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