“It’s not all about you.” That startling statement is the first sentence of a best-selling book by Baptist pastor Rick Warren. Entitled The Purpose-Driven Life, Warren’s book maintains that life is not about fulfilling oneself or about acquiring or achieving what one personally wants. Life, rather, is about loving and serving God and loving and serving others.
In order to serve God and others, Warren said, God gives each of us specific and unique abilities that we must both discover and employ. On the Final Judgment Day, God will ask each of us two basic questions: First, “What did you do with my Son?” That is, “Did you believe that Jesus’ death and resurrection both saved you from sin and opened up to you the way to everlasting life?” Second, “What did you do with the gifts I gave you?” That is, “How did you use the abilities that I gave you to make the world a better place for those around you?”
Note that both Warren’s book and the two questions he thinks God will ask us at the end of time shift our focus outward and upward—away from ourselves and towards God and others. That shift is hard to make because our sinful human nature is centered primarily inward and downward--upon ME, MYSELF, and I.
Yet the good news of the Bible is that “It is God that has made us, and not we ourselves.” We are put on this earth for a finite period of time to do whatever task God wants us to do. Our daily challenge is to discover what that task may be, knowing that God will provide for us whatever resources it takes to perform that task.
Submitted by Mark Vance
New Hope Lutheran Church,