I Might as Well Just Give In
If the dead are not raised, “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.” 1 Corinthians 15:32
Every day, I set out to eat healthy and some days, I do better than others. I had a couple of good days recently when I got a sugar craving. I thought, I’ve been good. I’ll just have a few chocolate chips as a reward. You know what happened next. Once I opened the bag, one dose of chocolate chips wasn’t enough. I had to have a second, and then a third. At that point, futility took over. Well, I’ve failed. I might as well just give up and eat as much as I want now.
This is the same kind of thinking that kept me in a continual state relapse with my drug addiction. Every time I used, I promised myself it was the last time. I quit. I’m done. I’d do well for a couple of days and then I’d decide to have just one. Once the failure happened though, I’d just surrender to the drug. I’m never going to stay sober. God won’t answer my prayers. Maybe he’s not even there. I might as well just give up and give in.
Paul described a similar futility in today’s passage. In it, he defended the reality of Christ’s resurrection and based all our hopes in that historical fact. He said that if Christ wasn’t raised from the dead, then our faith is in vain and we might as well just give up, doing whatever we want. If there is no hope for the future, then all that’s left is to live for our appetite today.
Whether it involves conscious disbelief, many of us have found ourselves here. Maybe we’ve failed so many times that we believe we’ll never change. Perhaps we doubt that God even cares about us. However we got here, we feel hopeless and so, we just give up and give in to our self-destructive nature.
The great message of the gospel though, is that there is always hope. Because Jesus was raised from the dead, we too may we experience continual change and resurrection. Often though, this requires the daily, hard work of putting to death the old life. For many of us, this is just too much and so, we embrace futility. I’ll never change. I might as well just give in. If we’re honest, we can see that this is simply a justification we use to avoid change. In Christ, there is always hope, but daily, if we truly desire transformation, we must do our part to respond to his transforming grace.