The world takes the short view of things, but Christians must take the long view. It’s another way of saying followers of Christ must live with an eternal rather than temporal perspective. While we should cherish every moment entrusted to us by God, we must live in such a way as to always be living for what will matter 10,000 years from now, not what will matter tomorrow.
Life as a Jesus follower should never be about instant gratification or momentary pleasure. We have an eternal purpose and must live accordingly. Don’t get caught up in the things of this world and seek to improve your place in it. Instead, train your desires toward things that last and will glorify God.
Everywhere you look, you will see people living for the moment. They are living in the present tense only, with no eye on the future or anything that will last. When we live for what we can accomplish or experience here on earth, it is not only short-sighted but also catastrophic. We’re trading eternity with God for a few short years here on earth. I can understand why someone who does not know Christ living this way, but once you’ve heard His gospel and basked in His love, how could you ever go back to the way you were before?
Christians spend too much time feeling defeated because they are living with the wrong perspective. They aren’t taking the long view, so they only see what is happening around them right now. Jesus promised we will have pain and trials in this world (John 16:33), so when we only focus on the here and now, pain and trials are likely to be all we will see. And if that’s all we see, no wonder there are so many books on anxiety and depression targeting the Christian market! To pull ourselves out of our despair, we must adopt the long view. We must see life in light of eternity, not as just the tiny moment of our day.
When we live with an eternal perspective, how we spend our time will take on a new purpose and new meaning. The mission will be clear and we will see where we are going. Focusing on the long view gives us hope and purpose, two things hard to come by in this world.
If we want to play our part in God’s grand design, we must see things as He does. Shortsighted dreams and ambitions have no place in God’s Kingdom. We’re playing for the long run, the end game. What happens in this world matters only insomuch as it serves a purpose in the Kingdom of God. Our sole purpose is to love Him and to glorify Him by loving others (Matthew 22:37-39). When we love as Christ does, we will build His Kingdom on earth. We will build a legacy that can never be assailed because we are building a shared legacy with our King.
The short view feels good and brings pleasure, but only for a little while. The long view brings meaning and purpose; it establishes an eternal legacy and ends with Jesus welcoming us into His Kingdom. While the choice seems like an easy decision, few will sacrifice the immediate for the eternal. Don’t be that person. Recognize what is at stake. Jesus died, so you might live. Don’t waste that gift. Put away the things of this world and live with an eternal perspective. It is the obedient thing to do and the only way to live a life that matters in the Kingdom of God.