In our interaction with so many families at a close range, we have seen a core internal struggle of misalignment between their professed faith and daily practices. This misalignment consistently finds its root in the difference between the metanarrative of their culture and that of the Bible. It seems that the metanarrative of this world is mostly about finding answers to this one question: “How do I make myself more successful and happier?”
A lot of people are driven to make more money and make a name for themselves through their endeavors in business, sports, entertainment, and whatever else they want to pursue in their careers. They are obsessed with helping their children to achieve success in academics, sports, music, and other “talents” they perceive in their children. They hope that their children will get into good colleges and develop good careers to make money and live happily. They are restless and anxious as they indoctrinate their children to embrace a “SUCCESS” narrative! However, we see that so many people who follow this metanarrative become unhappy, unsatisfied, and unfulfilled. Then they usually gravitate toward a “VICTIM” narrative.
What Really Matters
We will all stand before the judgment seat of Christ and give an account of ourselves to God (Rom. 14:10-12; 2 Cor. 5:10). At the judgment seat of Christ, everything will be uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him, to whom we must give account (Heb. 4:13). And the two CORE indexes that we all will be evaluated on are the following two things according to the words of Jesus himself (Matt. 22:37-40):
- How well we loved God with all our hearts, minds, souls, and strength. How intensely and deeply we experienced sweet loving koinonia with Him in our daily life — NOT how well we performed the religious duties related to worship, Word, prayer, service, etc., BUT how much we entered, practiced, and experienced the presence of God in the moment-by-moment reality of daily life.
- How well we loved our neighbors as ourselves, beginning with our closest neighbors (our family and faith community) and other neighbors God entrusts to us throughout our life. How intensely and deeply we experienced sweet loving koinonia with our neighbors in our daily life — NOT how well we performed the religious duties related to evangelism, missions, service, etc., BUT how much we entered, practiced, and experienced the presence of one another in our moment-by-moment, life-on-life interaction with our neighbors (believing and unbelieving) in our daily life.
Sorting Out Our Priorities
Gifts, abilities, “talents,” jobs, and careers are all simply BASIC indexes (tools, means, resources, opportunities) that God entrusts to us, and they inform where and how to experience our CORE indexes (the vertical relationship with God and horizontal relationship with our neighbors). If we make our “talents” and careers our endgame, then we end up making them “idols” rather than embracing the gifts God entrusted to us to love God and others. We pray that each one of us will be found faithful at the end of our life and be given that commendation from the Lord, saying, “Well done, good and faithful servant!” (Matt. 25:14-30)
- What narrative have you chosen to define reality and thus shape your life?
- What narrative are you following to find meaning and purpose in your life?
- Where is your story headed, and how is it going to end?
- Pray God will fill our hearts and minds with joy and peace each day, as we remain faithful to the Two Core Indexes of Life.
- Pray we will daily respond with joyful obedience to God’s gracious invitation to partner with him in serving his people to do the same.
Bio: Daniel and Ellen have been married for 39 years, they have four grown children and five grandchildren. They have served for 34 years with OC, Safe Harbor Life Coaching ministry around the world.
More Spiritual Formation Resources
We are One Challenge mission workers serving the whole body of Christ by developing a new generation of leaders. The Holy Spirit is always inviting us to know God more and do the work of becoming who God has designed us to be.
These resources include blog posts, original worship music, images accompanied by Scripture, prayer exercises, and much more. Whatever the Lord gives us, we want to offer to you so you can be blessed in your walk with Jesus.