Over the last few weeks there have been a number of tragic deaths of young Australians both here and overseas. Reporters rush to these tragedies in the hope of getting a story about who these people were who died and what they were like. This in turn has led to a lot of interviews of friends and near relatives many of which have made the evening news.
Hearing so many in such a short time, I began to notice a pattern. It made me wonder what Aussies admire most in a person. Invariably, the friends and relatives tried to pay the highest compliment they could about their beloved friend or relative. And here is what seemed to be the two most admired qualities that a person could have:
- They were funny
- They loved life.
The second seemed to mean that they were excited by all the fun possibilities that life had to offer.
What would you like to be known for, if it was your friend being interviewed on TV after your (hypothetical) unfortunate end?
How much does it matter to you that you would be known by Christlike qualities? E.g. “Georgia was the most compassionate person I ever knew!” “Waldo just never stopped helping people, I don’t know where he got the energy or the patience.” “Randall just had this way of bringing people together, even people who had nothing in common.” “Sharon put others first; she always made you feel you were the most important person in the world.” “Eric loved God and it showed; in a good way I mean.”Etc
The world admires certain qualities (see above) which are all about having a good time and caring for your inner circle. But God’s wisdom for life is different.
“Where is the wise person? Where is the teacher of the law? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21 For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. 22 Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom, 23 but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, 24 but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.”
1Corinthians 1: 20-2 25 NIV
Our faith calls us to be different. And it takes real faith to be different and not to buy into the world’s ‘spin’ about the good life. It takes real faith to not chase after a wealthy ‘secure future’, to not set your heart on pleasures or lusts, but on love. It takes real faith to not merely do what Jesus tells you to do but find the joy in it and find it more fulfilling than what the world offers.
“Where your treasure is, there your heart is also” (Mt 6:21)
What do you think you are known for? What would like to be known for? The difference will be a step of faith.