In The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, author Stephen Covey recommends the following mental exercise: Imagine that you’ve died and that four people representing different aspects of your life speak at your funeral: a relative, a fellow church member, a business colleague and someone else from your community. What would each one honestly say about your life?
While it’s not easy to imagine others testifying to the effectiveness of our lives in the context of a funeral, this exercise does provide some much needed perspective. There’s nothing like the end of a life to get others to consider the course of their days. Take a few minutes to seriously think about what these individuals might say about you to a gathered crowd.
Now take a few moments to imagine what Jesus would say about your Christian life to this point. What does he think about your faith? What does he think about your accomplishments for his kingdom? Would he describe you as someone growing closer to him each day?
Jesus told a story about three servants in order to illustrate that God expects each of us to be faithful with what he has given us. Of course, any number of fears might hinder us from using the gifts God gives us: fear of failure, fear of ridicule, fear of God’s disapproval, to name a few biggies. Failure to invest represents the most serious potential shortfall of all. Only when we use our faith does it stand a chance of growing. If we don’t exercise it, it becomes stagnant and lifeless. Can you think of anyone whose faith looks like that?
Let’s look ahead ten years and repeat the mental exercise. If you spend the next ten years investing your faith and wholeheartedly using the gifts God gives you to serve him, what would a relative, a fellow church member, a business colleague and someone else from your community be likely to say at your funeral? What would Jesus say?
To Take Away
What gifts and opportunities has God provided that you can use for him?
Be honest with yourself. How have you done at living a life of faith in God?
What aspects of your life have you been withholding from God? What steps can you take to invest these areas in faithful service to him?