The means by which we live our lives are the ends that our lives serve. We may hear the old saying "the ends justify the means" but the reality is that the means become the ends that our lives are about. Even more for those who believe that there is a God and that we are passing through this life for many reasons, including judgment, the ends that we seek are the means by which we seek them.
That a life will be spent in the pursuit of means that make life better off not having been lived is the great peril faced by those who feel that the end justifies the means; they lose track of the reality that the means we use are the ends we are seeking, no matter what we may tell ourselves.
Understanding that the means we use are the ends we are seeking is the key to recognition and will. If you've read what I've written about acceptance and forgiveness you will recognize that both acceptance and forgiveness requires, at some point, a recognition sufficient that it causes a change.
Without a change in the manner of action, we have not forgiven ourselves, we have not found freedom, we have not accepted. It is the change that recognition creates that becomes the end that our life serves, which means that the way we act and the means that we use when we act remain the true ends that we seek.
There is a reason that peacemakers are blessed, and are called the children of God.
Yes, I mean that whether or not we support or suborn torture, that whether or not we are kind to those who we judge not to deserve it, that whether we overcome despair or are swallowed by it whole, especially in this season, in some part rests on recognition, will, acceptance and forgiveness.
I mean all of those things, because I mean that a key lesson in life is learning that our means are our ends.
For some interesting links, intended to create thought, not provide answers, death penalty discussion and more on the topic, trolls (who need to learn this lesson), ethesis, perseverance and torture.
And, as always, ozarque, a living saint.
May your means and ends be peaceful in this season.