Evidence Of Our Lives

“Nothing is more dishonorable than an old man, heavy with years, who has no other evidence of having lived long except his age” (Seneca).

That poses the question: what are we living our lives for? We will spend the days of our lives for something or someone. We can no more refuse to live the days of our lives than we can forestall the day of our death. Both are sure. 

Paul will say, “For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure is at hand” (2 Tim. 4:6). The pouring out of his life is one thing. The time of his departure is another. Paul poured out his life. He will tell the Philippians he poured out his life as a drink offering on the sacrifice and service of their faith… (Phil. 2:17). He will tell the Corinthians, “And I will spend and be spent for your souls; though the more abundantly I love, the less I am loved” (2 Cor. 12:15). Paul spent his life in service to the Lord and others. Do you think he looked back over his life with regret? Did he look back over his life and say, “The only evidence of having lived a long life is age”? No. Paul lived his life with purpose. 

So, what will be the evidence of our life? Will it simply be having lived to an old age? Surely there is more for us than that. We must live our life being transformed into the image of Christ. We must spend the days of our lives changing from the inside out. We must be transformed in our nature, attitude, outlook, heart, and teaching. No one who grows to be like Christ lives with regret. 

Further, like Paul we can spend the days of our life serving others. Think of the many lives we touch. Maybe it is not in some big way, but in just little things. A phone call, a card, or a simple expressing of deep affection. Paul labored with his own hands to provide for himself and those who travelled with him. He spent himself for others. It will not always be appreciated, but God knows our labor of love. He will not forget. Paul devoted his life inscribing God’s word on the hearts of others. Not once do we read where Paul called his life a waste. There is no regret in his voice as he awaits the time of his death. 

Remember that rich man who built bigger barns? It was not the building of the bigger barns that was his problem. It was that he offered himself the compromise “soul, you have many goods laid up for many years; take your ease; eat, drink, and be merry” (Lk. 12:19). All he had to show for his living a long life were his bigger barns. But they would be taken away. He should have spent the days of his life laying up treasures in heaven. What a life of regret.

We want our lives to matter. We do not want the only evidence of having lived a long life simply to be an age. We must invest ourselves in the Lord. His word, His people. Our hearts must be stirred by love for Him. God’s people make a difference. God’s people matter. They make a difference, and they matter because they live, pleasing Him. Because He gave Himself for us, we give our life for Him.

Rickie Jenkins