By David Faust
I was raking my yard the other day when Jesse walked across the street to talk with me. A good neighbor who makes his living painting houses, Jesse has been friendly to me for years, but this time there was a warmer-than-usual tone in his voice. He said, “I hear you’re moving.”
“Yes, we’re moving to Indianapolis.” I explained that I’d been the president of Cincinnati Christian University for 12 years, but now I’m going back into church-based ministry on the staff of East 91st Street Christian Church—the same church where I served before moving to Cincinnati in 2002.
“Sounds good,” Jesse said, “but we’re going to miss you here.”
On the Move
Since my wife, Candy, and I announced several months ago our plans to move, it’s been interesting to notice how people react to the news. It’s not a big deal to most—after all, it’s not unusual for someone to change jobs. People move all the time. But when others know we’re leaving, their attitude seems different—and so is ours. We’re all a little more appreciative of each other. A little more aware of the value of our relationships. A little less likely to criticize or take one another for granted.
Faith in Christ changes our perspective on life. We begin to see ourselves as travelers in a significant and surprising journey—always on the move—never sure where the next step will take us, but confident God is with us. We see this present world as temporary. We fix our eyes on things above.
How would we conduct ourselves if we really believed that soon we were going to exchange this crumbling earth for our eternal home?
If we were leaving soon, we would use our time and abilities more strategically. Our priorities would become clearer. We wouldn’t compare ourselves to others as much. We would use our God-
given gifts to bear maximum fruit for his glory. We would realize, “There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work” (1 Corinthians 12:5, 6).
If we were leaving soon, we would appreciate others more. We would express more kindness, offer more encouragement. While there is time, we would mend any broken relationships we could fix, for love “keeps no record of wrongs”; abiding values like “faith, hope, and love” would guide our actions (13:5, 13).
If we were leaving soon, we would value and protect the church, not split it. We would promote unity, recognizing that “God is not a God of disorder but of peace” (14:33).
If we were leaving soon, we wouldn’t get too attached to the things we own. We would see our belongings as tools for serving God and blessing others, not as badges of personal significance or piles of property to hoard as if they guarantee security and comfort. We would understand that material things perish, but because of the risen Christ our “labor in the Lord is not in vain” (15:58).
If we were leaving soon, we would give instructions to others who will carry on the work after we’re gone. We might say, as Paul did to his friends, “Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. Do everything in love” (16:13, 14).
It makes sense to live as if we will leave this earth someday soon. For in fact, we will.
1. Do you find it difficult to let go of things?
2. How would it affect your relationships if you knew you only
had a few more days to live?
David Faust is president of Cincinnati Christian University, Cincinnati, Ohio, and past Executive Editor of The Lookout.
The Lookout’s Bible Reading Plan for April 27, 2014
Use this guide to read through the Bible in 12 months. Follow David Faust’s comments on the highlighted text in every issue of The Lookout.
1 Corinthians 12:14–31
1 Corinthians 13
Judges 17, 18
1 Corinthians 14:1–25
1 Corinthians 14:26–40
Judges 20, 21
1 Corinthians 15:1–28