Earthly Accomplishments

Micah 6:6-8

Chances are I have fewer years ahead of me than behind me. As I approach a significant birthday, I find myself reflecting on my life and asking myself whether or not I’ve lived it well. After all, my time is running out. Have I spent my allotted time on earth wisely? Have I accomplished what God had hoped for my life? Will God be pleased with my closing spiritual bank balance?

I guess it is only mortal to think in these terms, to define our lives, even in terms of faith, by our accomplishments or successes. But today’s passage reminds us that God uses a different scale when measuring a life’s value. God cares nothing for the sacrifices which we are so eager to lay at God’s feet, whether they be calves, oil, offspring, or some other modern equivalent. No, God’s currency is as surprisingly simple as it was when this ancient writer wrote down these words—doing justice, loving kindness, and walking humbly with God. Nothing else will show up on the balance sheet. No other accomplishment will be transacted into spiritual Venmo. All currency is in the coin of grace.

I have some correcting to do in my mortal accounting system. I need to pry my fingers loose from the earthly accomplishments to which we cling, the degrees, titles, children launched, and missions accomplished that we love to list. I need to reconsider God’s perspective of my life and invest wisely in the opportunities of each remaining day. Justice, kindness, and humility are the only deposits that count. Today I am inspired to commit whatever hours of mine remain to the kind of faith that moves mountains rather than résumés.


How do you define your life and measure its worth?


Lord, give me the humility to see my opportunities as you do. Instead of seeking personal gain, privilege, or identity, guide me to the more promising, courageous life of grace and love. Amen.

This post originally appeared in Reflections: Daily Devotional Guide volume 31.3.

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