Point to Ponder: Life is a test and a trust.
Verse to Remember: “Unless you are faithful in small matters, you won’t be faithful in large ones.” — Luke 16:10a (NLT)
Question to Consider: In spite of all the advertising around me, how can I remind myself that life is really about living for God, not myself?
[Read More] thoughts on Day 5 of Rick Warren‘s Purpose-Driven Life* including on the meaning and metaphors of life, starting with courtship.
Life on earth is a Test
“I have noticed that God tests my faith through problems, tests my hope through how I handle possessions, and tests my love through people.”
Life on earth is a Trust
“Our culture says, ‘If you don’t own it, you won’t take care of it.’ But Christians live by a higher standard: ‘Because God owns it, I must take the best care of it that I can.'”
I agree that these are valid metaphors, and important for people to know and understand. However — speaking just for myself — I find these metaphors rather cold, and frankly burdensome. Life as test starts to feel like a never-ending hamster wheel, and managing God’s trust often leaves me feeling like the cowardly servant: God is a hard master who takes, and is never satisfied.
One possible solution is to add a complementary metaphor which emphasizes the relational vs. contractual aspect of our relationship with God. I propose “courtship”, which arguably is a test — and in some ways a trust — and most definitely temporary! However, courtship is explicitly about love and nurture in a way that the other metaphors are not.
Also, it highlights the difference between an unhealthy manipulative testing and appropriate boundaries in relationship. In a very real sense, God isn’t testing us to make us prove we’re good enough. Rather, He’s testing to see whether we really want to spent eternity with Him.
Which is both reassuring, and a little scary.
Prayer: God, I acknowledge that you are my master, and have given me a great trust, and have every right to test me. And that part of the reason I resent those things is because I fail the tests and usurp the trusts. But more than that, God, I want to know the heart behind your sometimes heavy hand. I want to know you as the Great Lover who desires me for myself, not just the Great Master who deserves my service.
I realize that this is a dangerous request — marriage is ultimately a far stronger master than slavery, and places far higher demands on both sides. Yet, I’m tired of living a shallow, functional life. I want more of you, and I need you to want more of me. Take me, O God. Test me, entrust me, and fulfill me, that I may enjoy You more on earth, and even more in eternity. Amen.