Name _______________ Date _______________
In each pairing below, choose the person who is most significant. (Don't give your Sunday School answer. Be honest.)
- The CEO of a Fortune 500 company, who gives millions to charity.
- The owner of Fred and Bubba's Neighborhood Tavern who gambles away his meager profits.
- A young, healthy mother of four, raising her sister's orphan child.
- A homeless drunk.
- A United States Senator.
- The school janitor.
- The Chief of Police.
- A prisoner.
In the above statements, it's easy to tell which person has more significance in life. Regardless of our ethical insistence that all people are equally valuable, the truth is, we do consider those who contribute to the good of society more worthwhile than those with apparently little to offer.
What about in the spiritual realm?
Which of these Christians has more significance in God's kingdom?
- A missionary with only 1 convert after 20 years on the field.
- The pastor of a mega church, baptising 100 per week.
- The minority pastor of an inner-city church.
- The wiggly little boy interrupting the teacher during Sunday School.
- A stay-at-home mother rocking a colicky baby.
- Beth Moore.
If you've spent any time learning about God's value-system, you probably gave the magnanimous answer that they were all equally significant.
Our mouths give a lot of answers our hearts don't believe. We've been programmed to parrot correct teachings, yet we know when we say it we are not speaking the truth.
The truth is, we try to use the same standards in the kingdom of God that we use to determine earthly significance. Our bottom line is: How impressive are your results? If you've got a lot to show for your efforts, you are more important than someone who has nothing to show for them.
The truth is, when we are working for God, we are not responsible for the outcome.
God calls us each to a different place, different goals, different service. We are uniquely designed to fit into God's masterpiece just the way he wants us to fit. When we work in harmony with His plan, we are fulfilling His ultimate purpose in creating us. When we resist his plan and try to earn significance our way, we lose significance in God's kingdom because we are out of sync with the big picture.
If the missionary with one convert has stayed within God's perfect will for His life, His reward in Heaven is equal or greater than the mega-church star who may or may not be doing his job for the glory of God.
When is the last time you evaluated your own significance on the quality of your obedience rather than the quantity of your output?
To judge significance based on any other system is like trying to use Monopoly money at Wal-Mart. No good. Doesn't work.
So before you say yes to that project because you can't say no, before you race out the door to "help" someone who needs to be helping himself, before you take on more than you should in your frantic effort to feel important, ask yourself: Upon whose standard am I judging my worth, God's or the world's?
Do exactly what God tells you to do--and not a thing more.
You cannot be any more significant than that.