This past weekend I was reminded of the fragility of life and how easily something can change in a single moment. I was reminded of this Saturday morning when I awoke and upon hopping onto Facebook found my feed was filled with the news of the sudden death of a young man who was a martial arts instructor for the ABKA Ministries in Gensan, Philippines. I never had the opportunity to meet him in person (though we were friends through Facebook) but even so I found myself crying as I read through countless tributes written about and to him on Facebook. What struck me the most was the overwhelming reoccurring theme of people testifying to the fact that he was a warrior for Christ who fully invested into Kingdom work. Though he only lived 23 years it is evident that he made the most of his time. And by the most, I mean this: Sharing Christ and His love by investing in the lives of people around him.
It made me think. If I were to die right now, how would people remember me? Would people have the same assurance of my being greeted by Jesus with the words “Well done good and faithful servant… enter into the joy of your master” simply by recalling how I invested my time? I have the choice to selfishly invest only into my personal quest for self improvement, or to invest into others by demonstrating Christ’s love to them which in turn will open up the door to share my faith as well. People won’t see Christ’s love in me if the only thing about me that they see as different is that I attend church on Sundays, sing hymns, read a book called “The Bible” and tithe my money to support missionaries. At best they will only view my difference as quaint religiosity and rituals. The type of difference that people see and want to learn more about is when I’m looking outside of me, myself, and I, and do something for my fellow man. Human nature is to be focused on my life, my schedule, my job, my reputation. The grace of God though, allows me to selflessly look beyond my own wants (and sometimes needs) and care for the needs of others. The grace of God is what allows me to lay down my life and invest in the life of someone else.
THAT is love and that is what people will see as a difference that they don’t have, and want, which in turn opens the door for sharing my faith. A quote that I heard for the first time about 6-7 years ago from our pastor Jerry Wells in Oklahoma was this: “People don’t care how much you know, till they know how much you care.”. It’s true.
Upon reviewing the ministry of Christ, what we see Him doing is investing in people. Investing in their lives through educating, healing, and loving them all the while building relationships. Sometimes, I think that we as Christians majority overcomplicate or overlook the second greatest commandment of loving our neighbor. Look at Christ and the early apostles, and what you see them doing is addressing not only the spiritual needs of people, but also the physical ones. It’s one thing to tell someone you love them, but it’s totally different to show them that you do.
Time is precious, and I have no way of knowing how long I’ll walk this earth. The question I’m asking myself, and would challenge you to ask yourself is this: “What am I doing right now in my life that is physically and tangibly showing Christ’s love to people? Every day, I have the opportunity to choose how I am investing my time. Once I’m gone, will all that’s left behind be words and rituals, or will there be a void that needs to be filled, where I once was actively involved in loving people and pointing them to Christ?