As many of you know, my family is in the process of moving to the mission field in Nicaragua. This means that a disproportionally large part of our life is currently spent cleaning and packing our house. Now, we’ve moved several times in our lives, but this move is different. Instead of getting a moving truck to lug all of our possessions to our new home we get a whopping eight suitcases (friends in Nicaragua saying the success rate on shipping packages is about 33%). While we will have a storage unit in the US anything we put into storage will not likely be used in four years, making the test for storing something “will we actually want this in four years?” The sum of all this is that A LOT of stuff is making its way to Mount Mahaska (for the uninitiated, that’s the local landfill). As I load things into garbage bags I think of the money some of these items originally cost. In the case of old TVs and computers we are talking about things that once cost hundreds of dollars simply being discarded. Things that at one point in life where a “must have” will soon find their home in a garbage heap. This experience has really forced me to reflect on the question: what really matters in the long run?
That question really begs another question: what is it that should really matter in our lives? Paul addresses this very question in his letter to the Philippians.
For I want you to understand what really matters, so that you may live pure and blameless lives until the day of Christ’s return. May you always be filled with the fruit of your salvation—the righteous character produced in your life by Jesus Christ—for this will bring much glory and praise to God. Philippians 1:10-11
As I’ve reflected on that question I’ve come to the conclusion that I’ve spent way too much time, money, and energy in life on things that really do not matter. I’ve spent way more money on stuff then I needed too, and significantly less on blessing others. I’ve spent way too much time trying to impress others or make myself feel good, instead of spending time glorifying God and investing in others. What Paul is telling us is what REALLY matters in life is understanding that we are saved by God’s grace and living our lives in light of that salvation. That means we should be seeking to make an impact on the world around us for God, speaking his gospel, love, and service to those around us.
While you may not be moving this week, I’d really encourage you to take stock of yourself. Are you spending too much time, money, and energy on things that are truly not important? Do you need to invest more for God and his glory?