Millions of people around the world are wasting their lives living for things that don’t matter while professing to be followers of Jesus Christ. It is the rare follower of Jesus I encounter, whose life looks radically different from everyone else. I know my life too often looks more like someone pursuing (and sometimes even living) the American dream than it does that of a radical follower of Jesus. A wasted life.
Jesus calls us to live differently than our surrounding culture. When He was walking the earth, few things He did aligned with the social norms of His day. His life was radically different from those surrounding Him. Jesus wasn’t what anyone was expecting and everything they weren’t. We can talk about how different we are from others, but we find the proof in how we live.
One day we’re going to meet Jesus face to face and He will ask us to account for our lives. What is it you will offer as proof of a life well-lived? Will it be how much money you earned, your real estate portfolio, or the number of followers you accumulated on social media? These are all remnants of a wasted life. They count for nothing, and yet we spend most of our time in pursuit of these or similarly useless things. No amount of money, possessions, or social proof will count for anything when we meet Jesus. All the things we are striving for are garbage in the eyes of Christ. Why do we waste our time pursuing such junk?
What will count for something when we meet Jesus is what we have done with what He entrusts to us now. How we use the talents and resources He gifts to us will be the difference between a life well-lived and a wasted life. If He gives us the ability to earn large amounts of money and we squander it building a nest egg and securing our comfort, then we will waste the talent He gives us. If instead, we take that same ability to give extravagantly to those in need, we will receive His reward. By the same measure, if we use the creative aptitudes He blesses us with to make a name for ourselves while keeping Him in our shadow, we will miss the purpose of being given such a talent. But if we use the talents He gives us to glorify His name, we will again receive the reward of maximizing what He entrusts to us (Matthew 25:14-30).
Don’t live a wasted life. Surrender everything to Jesus, just as He commands (Luke 9:23-25). Your life on earth is temporary and so are the pleasures of this world. They are but a breath in eternity. Don’t sell out your future in paradise for a tainted moment of bliss on earth. Life with Jesus will be beyond our wildest imagination. What we think brings us pleasure and comfort today does not compare with the genuine comfort and pleasure we will experience in the presence of our Lord. If you waste this life, you may forfeit the next eternal one (Matthew 7:21-23; Matthew 25:31-46). Oh, don’t live a selfish, short-sighted life. Don’t blow your only chance. Surrender to Jesus and after suffering for a little while (1 Peter 5:8-10), we will spend eternity in the presence and unparalleled joy of Jesus our King.