“The way I see my life shapes my life” is how chapter five of The Purpose Driven Life begins. That sounds very “Anthony Robbins to me!” Warren asks the question of if I were to think of my life as a picture, what image would come to mind? I had never stopped to consider what life metaphor I hold to, but at his request I gave it some thought and really did not come up with anything convincing. I have some idea as to what my purpose is and what my goals for life are, but have not found a way of summarizing this in a picture.
The Bible, says Warren, offers three metaphors. Life is a test, a trust and a temporary assignment. The first two of these are covered in this chapter and the third in the next.
The Bible tells of countless examples of life being a test. Abraham, Jacob, Adam and Eve, David and Esther are just a few of the examples. The tests they face and the tests I face both show and develop character. Tests do not need to be major events. Even the smallest event can be a test meant to show something about my character. When everything in life is viewed as a test, suddenly I realize that even the smallest incident is full of significance. Warren goes on to say that in his life he has found that God tests his faith through problems, tests his hope by how he handles possessions and tests his love through people. I would have liked to see an explanation of those, especially the second, but unfortunately there was none.
Life is also a trust. What this means is that God has entrusted me with many talents, resources, relationships and opportunities. I am responsible to be a good steward of all of these. At times I am prone to believe that it is really only my resources for which I am responsible, so this serves as a good reminder that God has entrusted me with far more. Practically, this revelation should make me realize that everything on earth has value since God owns it all. There is eternal significance to treating everything as a trust. If I am a faithful steward God promises three rewards. First, God will give me affirmation as a good and faithful servant. Second, he will give me a promotion, saying that since I have proven myself faithful with little he will make me responsible for more. Thirdly, I will be honoured with a celebration as I share His happiness. I really appreciate this section because though I know the Bible passages on which this is based, I had never considered it this fully. It is both exciting and intimidating to learn this!
Warren closes the chapter by showing how money is both a test and a trust. This is something my pastor believes and teaches a lot. “There is a direct relationship between how I use my money and the quality of my spiritual life.” Money may be the greatest test and trust since how I use it really does effect my spiritual life and show where I am spiritually. If selfish with my resources I can be assured that I am spiritually dry or even dead.
Warren quoted the Bible twelve times in this chapter, using six different translations and paraphrases. He did so accurately and remained true to the meaning of the text.
Question To Consider
Today’s question to consider is “What has happened to me recently that I now realize was a test from God? What are the greatest matters God has entrusted to me?” This is an important question to me since I do feel that I have been facing various tests lately. These have not been matters of life or death, but I have perceived that some things have happened that have had real significance. As for the greatest matters God has entrusted to me, I believe money has to rate near the top. Now it bears mention that I really have very little of it, but I believe that makes it even more of a test. I find that when I give a lot of my little God blesses me far more than when I give sparingly or not at all. I also find that I generally only give generously when I am in a good place in my walk with God. Another great matter with which I have been entrusted is my family. Raising children to be faithful to God is an awesome responsibility for which I don’t think any parent feels equipped. I am no exception, yet trust that if I am faithful steward of these relationships, God will bless my children and bring them to a knowledge of Him.
Tomorrow’s topic is Life Is A Temporary Assignment