I honestly don’t know what people think about me which is okay, I’d rather not know. My goal is to live the word the best I can, haltingly and imperfectly but honestly. But I do want my life to tell. Paul said his life was an epistle written and read by men. The epistle of Paul’s life tells the world he was humble, grace-filled, intrepid, and living with integrity. He lived a life of love because he’d seen the Lord and after that, all ambition ceased save this:
…to know Christ and Him crucified…1 Corinthians 2:2
“What you think of me is none of my business.” I heard this years ago and it’s stuck with me. It’s worked so far because the only opinion I really care about is His. I want to live a life to please Him.
What does my life tell? I hope and pray it tells that He is my all in all. I hope it tells humility and a heart hungry to serve. I pray it tells peace and a prayer-filled life and I hope above all, it tells love. If we spend an afternoon together I hope it tells generosity and friendship, compassion and wisdom and homemade muffins. I just want to live up to His standards because His are eternal, His bear fruit that remains and His leave self and all that drags us down, in the dust.
How can we live a life that tells?
- Know God. Above all else get to know Him. Talk to Him, read his word, study it to ‘show thyself approved.’ Pray.
- Live out what you learn. The beatitudes are so simple and simply beautiful and they go against every single human impulse and desire. They are revolutionary words spoken by the one who knew without the Holy Spirit’s help, we are 100% helpless to do even one of them. But with His help we can.
- Humble yourself, always. Every. Single. Time. We have so many opportunities to boast, online, in person, in our writings. Don’t do it. “Let another man praise you.” Take the lowest place. Serve others, serve your children and spouse, serve the undeserving and ungrateful. Remember, “…Jesus took a towel…”
- Under promise and over deliver. Go the second mile. Do more than is expected of you. Approach each task with excellence as the goal.
- Leave a pleasant fragrance behind. Leave places and things better than you found them.
- Use your words carefully and well. Build up don’t tear down. Speak life and purpose, destiny and future.
- Help others achieve their dreams. Even when it means setting yours aside for a season.
- Live clean and with integrity. If you died today and they came to sort through your belongings, what would they find under your bed, in your video cabinet, on your computer or bookshelf? What about your checkbook, tax returns and credit card receipts?
- Forgive early and often. Forgive and in your forgiving, release the offense too. We are good at forgiving but we are also much too good at holding on to the offense. Offense sends bitter roots deep into our hearts long after we’ve forgiven. Forgive and release. Repent of holding offense against anyone.
- Kiss the stones that bloodied your feet, that is, love the ones who don’t deserve it. Love those who hate you. Pray for the ones who’ve despitefully used you and caused you real harm. See what I mean about the beatitudes? Without Him we don’t have a prayer of doing this.
We can live this way even though we will stumble and fall. Jesus flat-out told us the way to life is narrow and few are those who find it.
My prayer is this: That you and I will be one of the few.
One of the ones who are living a life that tells. Tells of a better way, a loving way bringing healing and change, hope and deliverance to a world desperate for answers. Our lives will have become epistles when others read them and want to follow us as we follow Him. Because then the fragrance of our lives will be the fragrance of Christ. Above all friend, let’s rest in His grace, His undeserved and unmerited favor. It’s not our doing, He’s done it all. There’s nothing we can do save follow in His footsteps, love others and rest in His finished work.