In Second Corinthians, the Apostle Paul presents a compelling perspective on how we should view our lives and the world around us. He encourages us not to fix our eyes on what is visible, which is temporary, but on the unseen, which is eternal. This message challenges us to shift our focus from the temporal to the infinite, highlighting the importance of an eternal perspective in our earthly journey.
Paul’s initial point is about the temporality of the visible world. The things we see – material possessions, human achievements, physical beauty – are all temporary. They can be lost, damaged, or fade away. They are transient, fleeting, and subject to change. By reminding us of this, Paul isn’t suggesting that these things are unimportant or that we should ignore them. Rather, he’s reminding us not to let these temporary things become the ultimate focus of our lives.
Our culture often encourages us to prioritize the visible, to seek after material wealth, social status, and physical beauty. While these things aren’t inherently bad, they can become problematic when they occupy the center of our lives, causing us to neglect the eternal aspects of our existence. When we fix our eyes on the temporary, we can easily become consumed with worry, greed, and discontentment, always striving for more and never finding lasting satisfaction.
In contrast, Paul encourages us to focus on life’s unseen, the eternal aspects. These include love, faith, hope, and the promise of eternal life in Christ. These are the things that last, the things that truly matter. They have eternal significance and offer true fulfillment and satisfaction.
Focusing on the unseen involves:
- Cultivating our relationship with God.
- Nurturing our spiritual growth.
- Investing in people and relationships.
It’s about living with an eternal perspective, recognizing that our time on earth is temporary and preparing for our eternal home. It means striving to live a life characterized by love, kindness, forgiveness, and service, mirroring the values of God’s kingdom.
However, shifting our focus from the seen to the unseen takes work. It goes against our natural inclinations and the messages of our culture. It requires faith, the ability to believe in and live for something we cannot physically see. It requires a conscious effort, a deliberate choice to prioritize the eternal over the temporary.
In conclusion, Paul’s message in 2 Corinthians invites us to adopt an eternal perspective in our lives. By shifting our focus from the temporary to the eternal, we can live a life of lasting significance, experience true fulfillment, and prepare for our eternal home.
May we strive to heed Paul’s advice. Let us not fix ourselves on the seen, the temporary aspects of life, but rather focus on the unseen, the eternal. As we do so, we can enrich our lives and even make a positive and lasting impact on those around us. This is the beauty of embracing eternity amidst temporality – a life of true significance and lasting satisfaction.