Last night, I asked my husband this question. I already knew what his answer would be... me and the kids... but I was trying to prove a point. You see, if you asked me the exact same question, my honest answer would have been the same as my husband's. But, as a Christian, shouldn't my answer be Christ? Being the hands and feet of Christ in this world? Being the love of Christ to everyone we come in contact with? What resulted was this really great conversation between me and my husband. It was similar to the age-old agrument... What Came First: The Chicken or The Egg? He thought that having our family as his number one priority (compared to money or career) was proof that Christ is what matters most on our life. My retort was that when we place Christ first, there's this "trickle down effect" into all aspect of our lives... essentially, our lives bear the fruit of our faith, thus making family a major priority in our lives. We walked away from the conversation not really focusing on who was "right" or "wrong" but, instead, realizing that regardless of our opinions, Christ was definitely not the specific answer we would give if posed with this question.
Chan goes on include what I think is a really great quote from Tim Kizziar: "Our greatest fear as individuals and as a church should not be of failure but of succeeding at things in life that don't really matter."
After I read this, I immediately started to run down a mental list of all the things I've heard some people claim success in: a golf swing, the purchase of a new car...after talking down the dealer, a tennis game, obtaining the best flat screen TV with Blu-Ray and surround sound, being the best griller on the block, having the most Silly Banz (and this came out of the mouth of an adult, mind you!), having the most designer shoes, obtaining season tickets to the Red Socks. That list is truly endless... and quite ridiculous, if you really think about it! I think most of us would agree that these things DON'T really matter in life... but how many of us spend more time focused on these things compared to the time we spend focused on God? Better yet, how many of us are more willing to share this type of "success" with our neigbors or friends than our faith? What matters more?
Chan writes this:
"God's definition of what matters is pretty straightforward. He measures our lives by how we love. In our culture, even if a pastor doesn't actually love people, he can still be considered successful as long as he is a gifted speaker, makes his congregation laugh, or prays for 'all those poor, suffering people in the world' every Sunday." p. 93
So, if we use this... our ability, our willingness to love... as a way to measure our success in life, how would you fair? Money doesn't matter, job titles don't matter, possessions and collections don't matter. If everything else was taken away and you were only left with your ability and willingness to love, how successful would you be at what truly matters in life?
Spend some time thinking about what really matters in life. Ask some other people for their opinions as well. As you do this, remember that actions and words are two completely different things. You can say that family is most important... but do your actions reflect that? Take an account of your heart and reconcile it with your actions.