While each believer has a life of value in the eyes of God, not all who profess Christ will leave behind a healthy spiritual legacy. Good people can pursue what seem to be good things, but in the end, they failed to live a life that had a Kingdom impact.
Paul wrote to the Philippians about this subject, “I pray that your love will overflow more and more and that you will keep on growing in knowledge and understanding. For I want you to understand what matters, so that you may live pure and blameless lives until the day of Christ’s return” (Philippians 1:9-10). Paul wanted his readers to understand what matters in life and to focus on that effort so they will leave behind the testimony of a life that mattered.
The word “matters” as used in Philippians 1:10, has been translated as “to differ”, “test”, “prove”, and “distinguish between good and evil.” The same word was also used in Hebrews 5:14, “But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to distinguish between good and evil.” Paul said a life that matters comes about through continuous practice, training of our senses to make choices based on discernment, not feeling or undisciplined emotions.
Living a life that matters is not an automatic guarantee it will take place just because we said yes to the offer of salvation. It requires our participation in a lifelong partnership and practices aligned with the spiritual disciplines required to produce such a life. Paul said he prayed the Philippian’s love would grow to an overflowing state and work itself out in relationship with their pursuit of knowledge and understanding. In that overflowing and pursuit of truth, a life that matters will be the byproduct.
Each day we need to ask ourselves what matters in this life. The answer to that question is only found in Scripture and by the revelation of the Spirit. Without those two directing and clarifying influences we will end up living a life of our design, that in the long run, did not matter from a Kingdom perspective. Choose wisely.
This is an updated edition of a post originally published on Garris Elkins