Our True Life
“Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.”
There are other needs of life besides those which bread supplies. Sometimes we hear it said as a pretext for doing wrong or debasing things, “Well, I must live,” as if hunger excused stealing or fraud or other sinning in order to get bread. But it is not true that we must live, or that living is in itself the best thing for us. It certainly is not true that we must live if we cannot live without sinning. We have a higher life than our physical, and this, our true life, is nourished by communion with God.
It is never right for us to starve our spiritual nature to get bread for our bodies. It is our first duty to keep God’s commandments, and in obedience is the highest good that we can attain in this world. Sometimes the best thing that we can do for our life is to lose it; we had better any day starve to death than commit the smallest sin to get bread. Jesus said, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” Getting bread should not be our first object in living, and is really not our business at all. Life’s true object is to obey every word of God and seek His righteousness.
So let us settle it once for all that we are never to do any wrong thing to get bread; that we are to be true to God always and everywhere, and then leave to Him the caring for our bodies. He promises that He will do this if we seek, first and only, His kingdom and righteousness. If He wants us to suffer, it will be because in some way suffering will be best. At least we should leave that to Him. Then if we are to go hungry for a time, He will give us strength to endure the pangs until He sees fit to send relief. Even if we are to die for want of bread, our soul, our true being, shall live, and shall pass unstained into God’s eternal blessedness.
(Taken from Come Ye Apart by J. R. Miller)