Pray, Go, Give Blog

What “validates” your life?

(6 comments)

I have been spending time thinking about the close and special relationship between Jesus and John the Baptist. There is a lot that can be written about their connected lives.

Let me begin at the end…Matthew chapter 11 opens with John the Baptist in prison aware that his days may be numbered. He is there because of his commitment to truth and his approach to applying that truth to the lives of powerful people. John has plenty of time to think and must have been in a contemplative state of mind as he considered his life to that point. As anyone would he had questions and concerns that needed answers. He needed to know if he had spent his life doing the right things.  He needed validation so he sends some of his followers to Jesus to ask if all they had talked about and believed have meaning...I need to know...“Are you the one…?”  

The message Jesus sends back to John has special meaning to the two of them and validates both of their lives:

“Jesus replied, "Go back and report to John what you hear and see: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is preached to the poor.”

Jesus lets John know that he can be assured of the fact that he did spend his life on the right things and what they had talked about accomplishing with their lives was coming true. That must have been a comfort to John as his life came to an end.

What would you list as things that validate your life? Make a list of what you spend your time, talents and resources doing. Are you going to feel good about that list as your life comes to an end? Now make a list of what you would like to accomplish and pray about how you can align your life to accomplish them.


6 comments so far:

Good post Tom.

Validates my Life (in no particular order):

* My wife loves me

* My daughter loves me

* I sense God's approval in ADDITION to knowing it

* All my bills are paid

* I'm doing well in my occupation

* I am helping in some way to make someone's life better

* I studied scripture and prayed today

To be continued with a pen and paper on the dining table...

I really love to look at the stars. I just got a nice telescope for my birthday a few months ago. Many things validate my life, but one of the things that validates my confidence that there's a God and Savior in heaven is to look at His amazing creation.

http://tinyurl.com/amazing-creation

Tom, What a great way to provoke thought especially in these times of economic trials.

To be candid here is where my mind went...If I were John and my followers came back and told me all the things that Jesus was doing, the miracles He was performing. My mind would quickly think selfishly. I would think to myself, if Jesus is doing all those wonderful things for all those wonderful people out there then why can't he simply release me from this silly little jail? Why do I need to be sitting here behind these bars when all He has to do is speak and the jail door is open, or speak to the jail house and it be gone, or maybe He just speaks to that whole area and removes the jail house and the jail's men. What, he can do this!

But instead, John sits there in amazement of all the good Jesus is doing. His time and efforts are validated. Have we gotten lazy or selfish in our ways? Are we waiting for Jesus to bust down our gate and save us from all the garbage going on around us? Instead should we be thinking about all the good Jesus is doing around us and join Him?

I have recently been blessed with two brand new grandsons. I had the privilege to be in the room while both of my daughters gave birth (seven weeks apart). Although I was behind a doorway curtain I was able to be there as my grandsons entered into this world.

God is amazing! Sometimes we many need to look a little closer or through some of the smoke to see the good. But He is there and He is a wonderful God. I am validated by my God given family. God gave me the best gift ever when He gave me my wife! Proverbs 18:22 "He who finds a wife finds what is good and receives favor from the Lord." I am blessed.

Mark

What validates my life? For me it is knowing I am making a difference in someone elses life. It doesn't have to be something dramatic. It can be as simple as going shopping for a neighbour or taking fresh baked muffins to them. (I love to bake, so any excuse to bake is a good one!) It is also important for me to let others know that God is the most important "person" in my life and that no matter what happens He is in control. It validates my life when I can treat everyone gently and with love and respect. God Bless!

Many years ago, I came to realize that deep inside more than anything else, I wanted my life to make a difference in other people's lives, pointing them to the Jesus that I met when I was a teenager... yes, I wanted a husband, a family, a home, and some of the perks that living in this country has allowed... And God has blessed me with a wonderful husband to share this journey with, our two sons, a daughter in law and a grandson now, and always a home to live in and our needs met....
But when faced with the different circumstances of life and the interesting choices that have come along and watching others looking at the same choices, both my husband and I have seemed to choose nurturing our relationships with family, friends and other people above acquiring things... But then you know that many, many times I have played the comparison game, although reluctantly... with family, friends, neighbors, whoever... and suddenly wondered if we are fools for not having some of belongings and the perks that some people have... and for sure, you need money to live and we are to be good stewards of what we do have... pay our bills, take care of what we have, not just give everything away to the point that we are not responsible... otherwise we are a poor example to the world of a Christian if we are sloppy with finances and just use serving God for an excuse...
But when you choose to give what you could have spent on yourself on others of your time, talents, money, yet still taking care of your own household??... Well.... I have felt that momentary feeling of John the Baptist.... Especially at our age we have discussed this subject several times.... "Are we just fools? In giving ourselves away to others? In giving too much of our money to church, the needy, missions? (and I don't think we have given that much by the way) And what about too much in spending the best years of our life serving at church, missions, our extended family, a distraught friend or wherever?"... It is especially more difficult when people outright ask you why you don't have some of the things they have or do some of the things they do in a way that sounds so logical and you so stupid.... that's when you can get caught off guard and start back stepping to find an answer.
It is only momentary usually because we know that this world is all temporary.... in fact some people only get a few years to live at all and they can make an eternal difference in a very short time.... He has made us, knows us completely and He knows the days allotted to each of us (see all of Psalm 139)... and He promises to work out everything for good to them who who love Him and are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28)... He is love.... He loves us and all those we care about so much and cares about the things that concern us... we know that we are never alone in all that we go through... and that gets us through the toughest situations...
We know also very well that God uses every person differently... there was only one John the Baptist for example.... not everyone was Moses or Abraham or Sarah.... He has a plan for each life.... what is fulfilling in one life might not be the same for another.... We have great friends and family that have a lot of things and perks, but they are wonderful people and you can see them sharing what they have with the people in their lives... And that is exactly why the comparison game is so ugly.... It ruins any joy that God wants us to have in the life that He has lead us into...
When my dad died a few years ago, I said a few words at his funeral... When he died, he had been sick for awhile and had to go on Medicaid to get the care he needed... so he had no money, no house, he left us kids with only his personal belongings and household accumulation... So I spoke to our family who was there and said that Dad didn't have much when he died, but look around at all of us because that was Dad's treasure and he was a rich man... He also knew the Lord and is in heaven waiting for all of us to follow one day..
That about sums it up too... we can't take anything with us when this life on earth is finished... and we can have treasure waiting in heaven for us... so... we are trusting our life and all of those we love.... in God's hand and that has to be our validation.... we have made many mistakes in this life because we are not perfect, only God is perfect.... but we can't go back and try to second guess every decision... we have to keep our eyes on Jesus who said that He is the author and finisher of our faith... so we will continue to follow Him day by day till we meet Him face to face...

I am enjoying the heart felt responses. Thank you for sharing. In the end validation is all about hearing Jesus say "Well done". That would be awesome!

Archives:

Keep in touch: