Why do we make bad choices?

Everyone then, who hears these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on rock.

Matthew 8:24

Dear members and friends,

If you were to choose whether to build a house on rock or on sand, the answer may seem very obvious. However, it is often the case that people choose things that are not helpful or even harmful to them despite having obvious, better choices. At times this is because of greed. At other times, it is due to confusion caused by ignorance or overwhelming emotion. Yet, there is a deeper challenge to humans: we are born in a materialistic reality and raised by its principles. Why is this the core of human challenge? According to Jesus and the Bible, what makes us human is not the body, but the spirit within. What this means is that all the things we do for the body are essentially in vain, but the things we do for the spirit are the way of life, because our spirits live for eternity. 

Jesus’ claim of heaven was shocking and astounding to ancient people, and still is to modern people. That is probably why humans created many stories about what heaven should be, and even how to enter heaven. Yet, the irony is that people tend to believe in a version of heaven that is created by humans rather than what is preached about in the Gospels. The reason is very simple: humans prefer to choose what is pleasant to them over what is unpleasant to them. Does this mean that the heaven Jesus teaches about is unpleasant? In a way, yes. Because Jesus requires us to not only listen to his teachings, but to live by them. In Matthew 11:29, Jesus teaches, “Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” 

My brothers and sisters in God, the Holy week is just around the corner. Let us take a time to reflect on the heart of Jesus’ teaching: love your neighbor as you love yourself. 

Blessings, Rev. Junchol Lee