Last November my childhood heart throb, David Cassidy (aka Keith Partridge), passed away. His final words have echoed in my mind more than the lyrics to his hit song, “I think I love you.” They were simply these:
So much wasted time.
They make me sad for him because I can’t imagine a worse parting emotion than regret, and they remind me to number my days (Psalm 90:12).
No Looking Back
When I look back on my life my biggest regrets are those times where I allowed things of this world to distract from my “big rocks”: Love of God, family and others.
But as my friend’s husband likes to say, “The past is the devil’s playground.”
And this is the essence of the good news! When we say yes to Jesus we are freed from the pain and regret of past mistakes, for the many ways in which our pride, selfishness and evil hearts caused hurt and pain to ourselves and others.
As far as the east is from the west,
so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
Jesus took on the full burden of our pasts upon the cross. If it causes us such anguish to look back on the failings of just one life, I can only imagine what our Lord experienced with the weight of all upon his shoulders, pressing him to invoke Psalm 22, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?”
Naturally, our enemy knows the weight of this too. When we give him a toehold, he loves nothing more than to throw open the door to our pasts and remind us of who we were before and who we can be at our very lowest, and he tells us this is all we ever will be.
The only way to combat such accusations is with Gospel truth. We have put off that old man, as Paul refers to our past selves (Ephesians 4:22-24) and put on our new identities in Christ; our past sins are covered by Jesus’ perfect righteousness.
The enemy is wrong. We are no longer slaves to our pasts, but children of God.
Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.
I’ve been blessed to work for a client recently whose faith empowers him to see the Kingdom of God not as the most important thing in his life, but as the only thing. What a transforming notion that is when put into action.
Through that lens your job becomes Kingdom work first and foremost. What would it look like if we entered our jobs each day knowing that God put us in this place with these specific people to serve his good purpose? How would that shape our response to that boss, client or coworker who makes our day difficult? To the extent that it depends on you, will you seek to become a peacemaker in your workplace?
…the fire will test what sort of work each has done. If what has been built on the foundation survives, the builder will receive a reward. If the work is burned up, the builder will suffer loss; the builder will be saved, but only as through fire.
1 Corinthians 3: 13-15
When our days draw to a close all that remains, the only thing, will be the love we gave to others for Christ’s sake.
With that in mind, my friend, let us seize today.