What did you think of when you read that name? 16th President. The Gettysburg Address and the Civil War. Assassinated. For such a historical figure as Lincoln, it’s easy to think of the major impact he had on our nation and on history.
Or how about Thomas Edison? Of course we know him as a famous inventor, but are you aware of all the things he created that made life better and easier for us all? With such creations as the phonograph, the light bulb, and the motion picture camera, it’s easy to see why Edison’s name will be remembered as one of the greatest minds of all time.
Some people are remembered for their achievements, some for their athleticism, and others simply for shining brightly during their fifteen minutes of fame. But what will you be remembered for? When (insert your name here) is written down after your passing, what will people think of? That’s quite a sobering thought isn’t it? Most of us will just live our lives with thoughts of how something might affect us or our immediate friends and family. But our impact, especially if you’re a Christian, is more far-reaching than that.
Now, I don’t personally know every reader of my blog. You may have great influence in your career or your community. You may do great things amongst your small circle of friends, but I want to look specifically at the things all Christians should be remembered for that have the biggest impact on the world around us.
- LOVE– You can’t say the name Christian without saying the word love. At least that’s the way it should be. Those words are synonymous with everything it means to follow Christ. Everything that Jesus ever did on earth, even down to his death on the cross, exemplified the true meaning of love (Matthew 22:37-40). We too, should be known for the love we show, not only to God, but to others.
- FAITH– Another word that is compatible with the idea of Christianity is faith. Without faith, it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6), so if your life is not remembered as a life lived in faith, you are an oxymoron. You can’t be a Christian without it.
- BOLDNESS– Any brief study of the life of the Apostle Paul, or any of the other apostles for that matter, would reveal a life of boldness. That’s part of the reason why we remember these obscure disciples to this day. Their boldness in delivering the gospel message in their time allows us to practice our Christian beliefs today. The world continues to need bold Christians to get out of the church pews and preach the gospel to a lost and dying world.
- PERSEVERANCE– Every Christian should count themselves blessed, if at the end of their life, they can say, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith” (2 Timothy 4:7). The Christian life, if lived according to the Bible, will be tough at times, and perseverance is needed to make it through.
- KINDNESS/ GENEROSITY– Sure, kindness and generosity are not only hallmarks of Christianity, but are highly sought after moral traits in the secular world as well. Many people exemplify this kind of consideration to those around them. But our ability to evangelize and bring people to Christ begins with kindness and generosity. Meeting the physical and emotional needs of others is a stepping stone to meeting their spiritual needs as well (Ephesians 4:32, 1 John 3:17-18, Acts 20:35).
What will you be remembered for? Let it not be about all the things of this world; the success, the money, the achievements. Live a life wholly dedicated to the service of God and others. Live a life, that by godly standards, really does matter now and for years to come.