Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Living A Life Of Significance

Many of us are struggling to live a life of significance. It is part of our human nature to seek meaning for our lives. Unfortunately, in a materialistic society, significance is often equated with money, status and power. Success is measured in terms of what we possessed rather than in the love and care we have given to others. Even in the church, success is seen in terms of how big the church is and the size of the congregation rather than the difference the church is making in caring for the poor and marginalized in society.

Many Christians try too hard in their own strength to be a blessing to others. Time and again we fail and we are discouraged. Some are successful but unfortunately human based success invariably leads to the sin of pride. Yet others feel guilty of not having done enough to be a blessing to others.

It is therefore critical to understand what it means to live a life of significance. A life of significance is not a life of success but a life of service to those whom God has brought into our lives. It is not what we have done but how we have lived in this world as the children of God and as ambassadors of God’s Kingdom.

Jesus came to show us how we are to live a life totally emptied of self so that the fullness of God’s love can be seen in us. It is a life that is totally submitted to God’s will – a life that is humble and obedient.

But our human nature is to seek control over our lives and those of others. Our addiction to control drives us to seek knowledge rather than God’s wisdom. As a result, we fail to create “miracle spaces” for God to work in our lives. A miracle space has been described by Matthew Barnet as the gap between what we can accomplish on our own and what can be accomplished when we allow God to work through us.

Unlike the Olympic Games, we do not have to compete with one another to be significant in God’s sight. Each and every one of us is unique in God’s sight. He has created each one of us for a  special purpose in life which only we can fill. A life of significance is simply becoming the person God has created us to be – to be fully human and fully alive for the glory of God.

A life of significance is a simple life that is rooted in the Lord’s Prayer. It is a life lived as a child of God seeking to honour God. It is life with a mission to bring God’s Kingdom to earth. It is a life that is totally surrendered to the will of God. It is a life living on God’s promises of providence, purification and protection.

It is a life that is prepared for suffering. It has been said that suffering is inevitable but misery is a choice. When we embrace suffering as an opportunity to experience God’s love and grace we can choose to rejoice instead of being miserable.

Life can be exciting when we are freed from living up to the expectations of others and filled with the expectation of God’s power in our lives. And such a life will be a life of significance to God even in the face of suffering and death.

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