Everyone wants to live a life that matters. No matter who you are or where you are from, we all want to make a difference. I recently concluded a Bible study in which I did character profiles of important characters in the Bible. One of the driving things of all of them is that they wanted to make an impact. They weren’t content to just live how they had always lived. They were driven by a desire that would not let them quit.
So how do we live a life that matters? There are some things that we can do, but also certain things that only God can do. For instance, Noah could build the ark, but only God could preserve him through the storm. Joshua could fight the battles in the promised land, but only God could win the battles. The key to living a life that matters is realizing our inadequacies, and trusting God with the rest.
Have you ever met someone that no matter what you do you can’t please them? I think we all know people like that. When we are trying to be impactful and make a difference, we have to learn to tune those people out. There is always room to listen to criticism, but when criticism becomes outright negativity its time to stop listening. I learned a long time ago that no matter what I do, someone will always have a problem. This leads me to the most important factor in living a life that matters.
All ministers, and especially young ministers, must realize that ultimately we are trying to please one person. I don’t ever want to purposely offend someone but I also can’t base my success or failure on what people think. My ultimate goal is to please Jesus Christ, and as long as I do that then everything else will fall into place. I will be standing before only one Judge, and as long as he says “Well done, good and faithful servant,” then that is all that matters. In that moment every other voice will be silent.
In a church world that judges success based on numbers and finances, we aren’t asked to control either one of those things. The only thing we can do is do the very best with what we are given. Living a life that matters is about pleasing God and impacting others, and nothing else. Jesus tells the parable of the talents, and in the parable judgment is pronounced on the one who went and hid his talent. Notice that judgment was not pronounced because he didn’t have a big church or a lot of money in tithes. Judgment was pronounced because he failed to do his best with what he was given. His failure wasn’t numbers or finances, it was faithfulness.
Above everything else, we are called to be faithful. Thats not popular, and it certainly doesn’t preach well in this generation. But that is exactly what the Bible calls us to be. So I would challenge you to get rid of all the negative voices in your life, and listen to what God is saying. That is the only way to live a life that matters!