Consciously or unconsciously, there are a gazillion metrics we use every day to evaluate success:
- Athletic ability
- Musical ability
- Physical appearance
- Leadership skills
- Marital status
You might have several more you’d add to this list.
I’d add things like how many people are attending Regeneration groups, what kind of changes they’re experiencing in their lives, and what our annual revenue vs. expenses are.
As a father, I’d add something about how my kids are doing in their various activities, whether they’re making strides to follow Christ, and even how they look. (And I’m still talking about metrics used to evaluate my success.)
Whatever you and I think of these metrics, none of them can truly get after what’s most important.
Jesus taught his followers to do two things above all: First, love God. Second, love other people.
Talk about mission clarity.
In one sentence, Jesus challenges even our most virtuous-sounding metrics of success. Because however well or poorly you’re achieving your goals; however many items are checked off your To Do list; no matter how many awards, degrees, dollars, congregants, followers, likes, or subscribers you have, Jesus’ call remains the same: Love God and love others.
If you make millions, love with what you have.
If have only a little, love with what you have.
If you’re strong, spend your strength loving.
If you’re feeble, spend your strength loving.
If you’re free to travel the world, love those you meet.
If you’re imprisoned, love those you meet.
If you’re married with children, love those around you sacrificially.
If you’re single, love those around you sacrificially.
If your kids are failing, love them through it.
If they’re excelling, love them through it.
If you’re happy, remember to love.
If you’re sorrowful, remember to love.
Because there’s a flip side to all this: Every person on the planet is made by God for love. Everyone you come across becomes healthier with love and sicker without it.
And no matter how much they look like they will or won’t appreciate it, receive it, comprehend it, or reciprocate it, you have an opportunity to love.
As we prepare for the celebration of Jesus’ birth and the reality of His second coming, let’s examine ourselves in the light of His self-giving love.
Let’s ask, “Am I spending my life on what Christ told us was most important to Him?”
Where the answer is no (and it is for me in far too many places), humbly confess and receive afresh his mercy and love for you right where you are. As we receive His love, we better love Him and others in return.
Question: What’s one way you can tangibly love God and/or another person today? Leave a comment below.
Wanting to be a success story,