I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus and count them but rubbish.

What is Your Life?

I have been reading a great book which you all might be familiar with. “The Twelve Caesars,” is the title by the Roman Historian Suetonius. I have been into Roman History as of late. That is a good thing considering its influence on the 1st Century Christian culture. But while reading I came across this quote:

“It is not histories that we are writing but Lives. It is not always the most famous deeds which reveal a man’s good or bad qualities: a clearer insight into a man’s character is often given in a detail, a word, or a joke, than by conflicts were thousands die, or by the greatest of pitched battles, or by the siege of cities.”

Plutarch from Alexander the
Great I. 1-2

Now I have heard that quote in various forms from time to time. Even the Bible says as much. But as I dive into Suetonius book I find one observance is clear. In Suetonius eyes it seems that whether a good Caesar or not these men either rose or fell based on personal choices. Julius Caesar was a great emperor yet Suetonius is drawn the vices and foibles of the greatest of Caesar. This seems to be the focus of the book. To get to the down and dirty secrets of each one.

Without having a clear understanding of who reads these threads I would like to say that in most cases you will never have a chapter devoted to you in some historical book looking at your life in one of earths most prominent positions. For most of us it will not happen. But think about this statement…

Don’t give the Suetonius in your life no matter how big or small the chance to write a vice laden history of you someday.

In another words when the people you touch daily look back on you will they remark of how good you were and how you loved them and how you really laid it on the line for them. Or will they look at your life as if lustfully or painfully watching a train wreck and focus on the vice. “He had an affair and the church was never the same,” or “He was not living a whole life and it stifled the Spirit.” Or sadder yet, “Dad, was never around for me.”

In the end you might not make the press that some of the Caesars do. It might never be widely known what you did. Maybe it won’t be as absurd as Caligula’s all night orgies or Tiberius’s perverse fondness for children. But where ever you are no matter how much you are seen in the public eye all you do and all you say is seen and will make an impact. It will not be the stellar project they will remember or the great program you put together. It will be the small ways you handled life.

“The detail, the word, the joke…”


7 Responses to “What is Your Life?”

  1. Good points, or, as I always like to say, “Make it easy on the guy who has to preach your sermon.” In other words, don’t make him have to lie in order to make you look good.

    Hey, I got the first comment on your blog!!!

  2. I got to tell you we give our government officials a hard time but they had nothing on those officials of Rome. You really had to do something bad to get shunned or killed.

    Or you had to be bad to begin with. I think it was Nero who married a man. That in and of itself was not bad then but b/c he was already on the hot seat it just fueled the fire.

  3. You said about Nero marrying a man… “That in of itself was not bad…”

    Um, OK. I’ll not touch that one.

  4. In the eyes of the Roman people it was not that bad. It was bad b/c he was a high public official, but it mearly compounded existing problems.

  5. Wasn’t Nero also the one who wanted to make his horse a senator? He might have been on to something, that would be better than some of the “donkeys” that we have in the Senate!

  6. Caligula was. But Chatharine Edwards in the introduction of TC says that it is not known if Caligula did this b/c he was crazy or b/c it was a statement about how inept the senate was and thus a simple minded animal could hold the position. She makes a good point b/c he was often times at odds with them. But the former thought prevails b/c he was indeed off his rocker.

    Nero was the one who burned Rome so he could rebuild it. Then b/c the heat was on he blamed the Christians and that is one of the reasons for the wide spread persecution in 68 AD.

  7. Bored As Usual

    […] Normally I don’t write about other peoples blogs, but this one really caught my eye: […]

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