On Wasting Your Life

14 Dec

I often come out of Christian bookstores feeling tired. It is not only that it sometimes takes a bit of work to find a helpful biblical book, it is also that so many of the books are telling me of how I can be great.

Check it out sometime.

From how not to waste your life to what on earth are you here for to the you you want to be to outliving your life to your best life begins each morning to living to make a difference to not being a fan but being a completely committed follower to taking my life back from the american dream to finding out what happens when you dare to ask God for the impossible to finding the one great thing God created you to do in this world there is an almost overwhelming amount of information on how I am supposed to live an awesome life.

And that’s good, sort of.

After all we were created for a purpose and we only have one life and we are tempted to become lazy and there are great things to do for Christ and there is hardly anything uglier than complacency and apathy in the Christian life. I get it. I want it.

But, at the same time, you know, it is pretty awesome just being a human. Without me doing anything at all with my life, being made in the image of God is a really amazing thing. More than that, it is pretty awesome just being a Christian. In spite of how poorly I have lived my life, I have been chosen by God before the beginning of the world for His glory and He is at work in me right now changing and transforming me and He has these eternal plans for me and not just for me, for the church where He is going to put Himself on display, His wisdom, His power, His love, through us.

What can happen and this probably isn’t the books fault as much as it is mine is I get this idea of not wasting my life and living a great life and I twist it and warp it into a means of justifying my existence and you know what, that’s always going to be disappointing if that’s my motivation. Let me tell you a practical reason why. Even the most exciting lives up close are filled with a whole lot of boring and insignificant moments and in fact, it is often what you do in those boring and insignificant moments that make your life count.

A personal illustration.

I have often had the itch to go to harder places for Christ and I think some of that is motivated by desires to see His name glorified. That’s one of the reasons we moved to Africa. But you know what we found when we got to South Africa? That you know what, this is where we are supposed to be, but we still drive a car (sometimes) and we have a nice house and I still sit at the coffee shop and study and work on messages. I recently went up to Malawi and I thought maybe this is going to be this out there missions lifestyle and you know what I found, that Lilongwe is really pretty comfortable and there are a number of churches and good men doing good things there.

It is still tough and there are still great opportunities just like there are here in South Africa and there in the United States but here’s my point, I think, and that is that you should want to live a great life for Christ and make the most of every moment and all of that, but if you are not careful your desire to do that can warp into something that is not biblically realistic (say you are thinking I will be something if I have a church of one thousand, o.k., but what’s one thousand people compared to seven billion and what is seven billion compared to the greatness of God) and it is going to twist you (instead of being excited that there is another biblical church in your city you might want to find errors in that church so you can still say we are the one biblical church in this city) and if you are placing all your hope in you living a great life you are going to be disappointed because no matter how great a life you live it is going to fall far short of the life you should have lived and you are going to end up missing the joy that comes from just being a human who is dearly loved by God and already declared right with God on the basis, not of your life but Jesus’.

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