It has been said “A tomb stone describes a person’s life with their birth and death and everything in-between with the dash!” The question I am asking you is “What does the dash say about your life?” The Bible reminds us to be followers with a purpose. Will others looking at our “dash” see Jesus?
King Solomon put it this way in Proverbs, “A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, and favor is better than silver or gold.” (Proverbs 22:1) I wonder how you would honestly respond if someone, with the power, offered to grant one wish. What would you choose? Would if be health? Would it be power, influence or prestige? Would it be wealth or something else? Would it be knowledge? What would be your request? A guy that was blessed by God to possess all these desirables reminds us that there is something worth more. It is one’s name, or reputation. The greatest possession in our lives is our testimony before others. This is especially true for followers of Jesus.
Now, Solomon is not talking about being driven by what others think. The Bible refers to this path to bondage as the “fear of man.” “The fear of man lays a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is safe.” (Proverbs 29:25) Rather, his focus is on the professing believer’s testimony of being a God follower.
Many years ago I worked with a man that was a cultural Muslim, like many in our country are cultural Christians. They are religious in name only, not practicing their faith. I had shared Christ with him many times and attempted to live it out before him. I blew it one day when I broke the speed limit and sped past him as we raced up a hill towards the top. He shared later that he was shocked that I would break the law. I was broken-hearted. I destroyed my testimony for Jesus in less than a few minutes.
I believe that all of us have instances when we contradict who we are in Christ. These instances could involve sinful choices or simply poor choices. All of us have these snapshots in our lives because we are sinners. I like the “dash” metaphor because it reminds that we are more than “one snapshot.” I like to refer to this as our characterization or a panorama. When people look at a bigger picture of your life, the “dash,” would they conclude you are a follower of Jesus?
Our “dash” is defined by the choices that we make each and every day? This challenges us to consider the small steps that we take each day that either build or destroy our testimony for Jesus before others.
-Pastor Joe Parkinson