This past week I was part of a memorial service where God challenged me with something I would like to share with you. The challenge I received was not so much about the sweet woman whom the memorial service was about, though it was encouraging how God used our church to help her get reconnected to the Lord, receive God’s love, and begin to thrive as a follower of Jesus. No, what hit me was a verse I shared towards the end of our time and some thoughts God gave me afterwards.
The verse was from one of the wisest people to ever walk the earth. His wisdom was and is renowned. People traveled great distances to glean from his knowledge. His insights helped nations, settled disputed, amassed great wealth, and helped individuals find meaning and purpose through relating to God. This knowledgeable and godly man was King Solomon who wrote many proverbs, and also wrote the interesting Bible book of Ecclesiastes. Ecclesiastes is a kind of treatise on life; on what is meaningful and worthwhile in life and what is just a waste of time or ‘chasing after the wind.’ It is an interesting Bible book and I would encourage you to read it sometime. Now the Bible verse that got me thinking was Ecclesiastes 7:2.
Ecclesiastes 7:2 It is better to go to a house of mourning than to go to a house of feasting, for death is the destiny of every man; the living should take this to heart.
Yes, one day there will come a time when people will be planning and having a memorial service or funeral in our honor and talk about our life, share stories of our interactions, and give account of our endeavors. The big question is what our actions will say, for what we do now matters and we should take this to heart. Think about what we do, for our actions now matter.
Our actions and how we choose to live our lives and how we respond to others, treat others, and interact with others matters. It matters if we help or choose not to. It matters if we contribute or choose not to. We live in community and what we do affects others. We can choose to be a blessing…
Matthew 5:16 In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.
We can choose to do good deeds like some random act of kindness and be a blessing to someone, or choose to be more of a blister where we get under their skin and irritate them like when we are mean and hurtful…for what we do matters.
We can also choose to be helpful…
Galatians 6:2 Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.
We can choose to help people as they struggle by first noticing and then offering to help or we can choose to be more of a hindrance by looking to them to help us…for what we do matters.
We can also choose to give…
Hebrews 13:16 And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.
We can choose to give by sharing our time, our resource, our attention, and our love with others, or we can choose to get and always look for what we receive, making sure we get something out of this. Yet, God is pleased when we give for what we do matters to Him!
See, our actions affect others and we can choose to affirm…
Ephesians 4:29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.
Yes, we can choose to affirm and let words come out of our mouth that build up others with compliments, accolades, affirmations, and encouragements. We can also choose to accost, accuse, or assault others with hurtful words. Some of us have sharp tongues that berate and criticize and tear down others, being very insensitive and not thinking about how those words will be taken. What we do does matter!
How we choose to live and interact with others matters and it affects other like when we choose to love…
John 13:34-35 “A new command I (Jesus) give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
This kind of love is selfless…
Philippians 2:4 Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.
Luke 6:35 But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.
We can choose to love selflessly like Jesus or we can choose to be selfish and be so self-obsessed that all we can think about is what fills our needs, our wants, or our desires…oh, that by the way is called lust.
God’s desire is that what we do would reflect Him. That our lives are in line with what He is; in being a blessing, in being helpful, in being giving, in being affirming, in being selflessly loving.
1 Peter 3:8 Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble.
Our lives matter. What will be said at your memorial service? What we do matters!
Seeking to Make Life Matter God’s Way with you,