If you have read a couple of my posts in the past year, you will find that I find information and wisdom from many sources outside of the Bible. That shouldn’t be surprising. We need to know that God’s image is reflected through all living things, meaning that God is in you as much as He is in me. He is in the homeless person as much as He is in the Kardashians. He is in the tree as much as He is in the vehicle driving past your house or apartment building.
You should be able to find Jesus everywhere and you should know that you can find wisdom and knowledge from everything.
Steve Jobs’ final words
In one of my social media sessions last week, I was found swiping left and right countless of times until I landed on a picture on Instagram (by the way follow me @Juan.unfltrd.blog) that displayed the supposed final words from Steve Jobs while on his deathbed.
These words were very inspiring as they told the story of a man who had success, yet realized it did not fulfill his wildest dreams. The words speak of the rotting truth wealth brings and how joy is found elsewhere; in love and in the people around us.
Read the words that went viral in 2015, a few years after Jobs’ death:
“I have come to the pinnacle of success in business. In the eyes of others, my life has been the symbol of success. However, apart from work, I have little joy. Finally, my wealth is simply a fact to which I am accustomed.
At this time, lying on the hospital bed and remembering all my life, I realize that all the accolades and riches of which I was once so proud, have become insignificant with my imminent death. In the dark, when I look at green lights, of the equipment for artificial respiration and feel the buzz of their mechanical sounds, I can feel the breath of my approaching death looming over me.
Only now do I understand that once you accumulate enough money for the rest of your life, you have to pursue objectives that are not related to wealth. It should be something more important: For example, stories of love, art, dreams of my childhood. No, stop pursuing wealth, it can only make a person into a twisted being, just like me.
God has made us one way, we can feel the love in the heart of each of us, and not illusions built by fame or money, like I made in my life, I cannot take them with me.
I can only take with me the memories that were strengthened by love.
This is the true wealth that will follow you; will accompany you, he will give strength and light to go ahead. Love can travel thousands of miles and so life has no limits. Move to where you want to go. Strive to reach the goals you want to achieve. Everything is in your heart and in your hands.
What is the world’s most expensive bed? The hospital bed.
You, if you have money, you can hire someone to drive your car, but you cannot hire someone to take your illness that is killing you. Material things lost can be found. But one thing you can never find when you lose: life.
Whatever stage of life where we are right now, at the end we will have to face the day when the curtain falls. Please treasure your family love, love for your spouse, love for your friends…
Treat everyone well and stay friendly with your neighbours.”
Whether truth or fiction, find inspiration where you can.
You see, a quick google search will disclose the truth that these words were never spoken by the Apple founder and legend. Don’t let something like this lead you to believe that these thoughts never ran through Jobs’ head or many of the “successful” people today.
Richard Branson, the founder of Virgin, wrote a blog post in 2016 where he mentions receiving an email with Jobs’ deathbed speech. He was surprised to hear of such false claim, saying, “His real last words – ‘Oh wow, oh wow, oh wow’ – were beautifully shared by his sister Mona Simpson.”
He continues, “However, the fake last words also have power, and are also beautifully framed. When I thought they were the final utterances of the entrepreneur I most admired, they inspired me. Now I know they were not, they still inspire me. Should they no longer be relevant because they are inaccurate.”
Even though the words were inaccurate, it’s so awesome how he still had this speech impact his life or, at least, provoke his thought-process.
Bible or no Bible.
See, one of the biggest things you can learn about me is that I love discovering new information and ideas. I am lucky enough to be alive in the age of the internet where information is easily accessible at our fingertips. I never want to discredit being able to learn anything from anyone, simply because of who they are and what they believe in. You can learn so much from a small blog as this one, just like you can grow, mentally, from a scholarly article or book. Like Branson, I want to find value in ideas regardless of their origin.
In that same manner, as much as you can learn from something as incredible as God’s word, I don’t believe we should discredit other sources. We need to know that a book on music or a fictional character can show us so much of God’s personality, as well as His will for us. This really makes me think of the verse, 1 Corinthians 10:31, “So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for the glory of God.”
I have two valuable questions you could ask yourself when you consume any type of information or advice.
Does it line up with what God says in His word?
Does it contradict the Bible?
We need to make sure that the ideas do not go against what God has said for us. We also need to make sure that, even though the idea isn’t exactly spoken about in the Bible, we need to see where it can align with it (i.e. idolatry, love your neighbor as yourself, etc.).
At the end of the day, we need to be positive that what we consume is for growth… just as mentioned in Philippians 4:8, “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is worthy of respect, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if something is excellent or praiseworthy, think about these things.” This was spoken about in context of “Christian” practices, but we can still find it when taking a tip from those such as Steve Jobs and Richard Branson.
Have you read anything recently that isn’t necessarily “Holy”, yet, had so much of Jesus in it?