Notes taken from The Purpose Driven Life.
The way you see your life shapes your life. How you define life determines your destiny. Your perspective will influence how your invest your time, spend money, use your talents, and value your relationships.
If you were asked how you picture your life, what image would come to your mind? That image is your life metaphor. It’s the view of life that you hold, consciously or unconsciously, in your mind. It’s your description of how life works and what you expect from it. Your unspoken life metaphor determines your expectation, your values, your relationships, your goals, and your priorities. For instance, if you think life is a party, your primary value will be having fun.
The Bible offers three metaphors that teach us God’s view of life: Life is a Test, Life is a Trust, and Life is a Temporary Assignment.
Life on earth is a TEST. This life metaphor is seen in stories throughout the Bible. God continually test’s people’s character, faith, obedience, love, integrity, and loyalty. God tested Abraham by asking him to offer his son Issac. God tested Jacob when he had to work extra years to earn Rachel as his wife.
Character is both developed and revealed by tests, and all of life is a test. You are always being tested. God constantly watches your response to people, problems, success, conflict, illness, disappointment, and even the weather. He even watches the simplest actions such as when you open the door for others, when you pick up a piece of trash, or when you are polite toward a clerk or waitress. You will be tested by major changes, delayed promises impossible problems, unanswered prayers, undeserved criticism, and even senseless tragedies. God tends to test how our faith through problems, tests hopes by how we handle possessions, and tests our love through people.
A very important test is how you act when you can’t feel God’s presence in your life. Sometime’s God intentionally draws back and we don’t sense his closeness. When you understand that life is a test, you realize that nothing is insignificant in your life. Every day is an important day, and every second is a growth opportunity to deepen your character, to demonstrate love, or to depend on God. God wants you to pass the tests so he never allows the tests you face to be greater than the grace he gives you to handle them.
Life on earth is a Trust. Our time on earth and our energy, intelligence, opportunities, relationships, and resources are all gifts from God that the has entrusted to our care and management. We are stewards of whatever God Gives Us.
At the end of your life on earth you will be evaluated and rewarded according to how well you handled what God entrusted to you. That mean everything you do, even simple daily chores, has eternal implications.
We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are. ~ Anaïs Nin