I’ve just finished reading Max Lucado’snewest book, Outlive Your Life: You Were Made to Make A Difference, and I feel… challenged! The premise of the book is that we have a choice to do things that will make an impact that outlasts us. Life is a temporary assignment, but the effects of our lives are permanent.
Lucado begs the question over and over again, what are you doing to outlive your life? What are you doing that matters in eternity? How are you investing yourself and giving yourself away? And as I read through each chapter, I was faced with new questions and new issues. I’ve come to the conclusion that there are many ways to outlive our lives, including…
- Pray. A lot. Prayer affects eternity. As Spurgeon said, “prayer moves the arm that moves the world.” Do it without ceasing.
- Be hospitable and welcoming. Welfare and food stamp programs can help assuage the physical problem of hunger, but opening ourselves to others addresses much deeper issues.
- Stand up for Christ, even in the face of persecution and criticism.
- Loosen your grip on your goods. It’s not that you have to give everything away, it’s that everything needs to be available at all times since it all belongs to God anyway.
- Come out of your shell. It’s easy to pull a mental curtain around us so we can block out the images we see of suffering, but we need to open our eyes to the hurt and pain of the world.
- Always be investing in someone.
- You can dine in and give your steak dinner money to buy a meal for someone.
When it comes to helping people in need, we do all kinds of things to protect ourselves from having to open our eyes and our hearts. We have our stock answers ready… well we can’t help everyone… those people should help themselves… I’m not going to enable them… they’re probably criminals… But when Peter and John met the lame man at the gate called Beautiful, they didn’t run a background check. They also didn’t give him any money. They healed him, in Jesus’ name, and watched him leaping and praising God as a witness to other hopeless people.
This is a tough post to write. Why? Because I’m not doing enough to outlive my own life. So I’m taking a bit of a risk in having readers question me on what I’m doing, and I might very well come up short. But here’s the thing, I’ve never met a truly generous, giving person who spent time questioning the giving of others. Challenging others to give? Perhaps. But let each one of us look within and ask, what is God leading me to do to outlive my life?
Disclaimer: I did receive a free copy of this book for review, but was not asked to give a positive review. And the Amazon links above are affiliate links. I would earn a small commission from any sales generated through them.
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