“As for me, my life has already been poured out as an offering to God. The time of my death is near. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful.” 2 Timothy 4:6-7
Do Paul’s words inspire you with a vision for your life? Are they a source of motivation? Or do they fill you with a sense of inadequacy, or maybe even guilt?
If I’m honest, over the years I’ve experienced all of these feelings as I’ve contemplated Paul’s no-holds-barred faithfulness. Could I EVER live a life like that? What would it look like for me to be faithful for a lifetime?
Without being conscious of it, I used to view my ‘faithfulness’ as the sum total of my most recent experience. Had I made the most of every opportunity to talk about Jesus? Or had I chickened out that day? I made sharing my faith more about what I did, rather than being part of what God’s spirit was already doing. And I didn’t always allow myself to fully experience God’s grace and love for me, even as I aimed to share it with others.
Over the years, I have come to see that the race Paul is talking about is a marathon, not a sprint. A life lived authentically is one surrendered to Jesus for the long haul. A life where our sense of adequacy and identity is not constrained by ‘what have I done for God lately.’ A life where we are free to step out in faith, whether we fail or succeed, because we know that we are fully and deeply loved by God.
First published in the 2016 Summer issue of Agapé MOVE magazine.
The views expressed in this blog post are personal to the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the GC network.