Three Metaphors for Life
The Bible offers three metaphors for life: Life is a trust, life is a test and life is a temporary assignment.
Life is a Trust.
Our time on earth – including our energy, intelligence, opportunities, relationships, and resources – are all gifts from God. He has entrusted these assets to our care and management so that we may use them for His glory and honor.
At the end of our lives on earth we will be evaluated and rewarded according to how well we have handled what God en- trusted to us.
Consider Paul’s conclusion of his own journey: “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the LORD ,the righteous judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.”
– 2 Timothy 4:7,8
Life is a Test.
God is continually testing us. Our character, faith, obedience, love, integrity and loyalty are never off limits to His gracious assessment. Words like trials, temptations, refining, and testing occur over 200 times in the Bible. Character is both developed and revealed by tests that come our way. In essence, all of life is a test! God is consistently watching our responses to people, problems, successes, conflicts, illnesses and disappointments.
Recently, I’ve felt the Lord test my faith through problems that arise. He tests my hope by how I handle the possessions He’s given me to steward, and he tests my love through the difficult interpersonal relationships I find in my life.
May the words of James 1:12 motivate us today!
“Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him” (James 1:12).
Life is a Temporary Assignment.
Life is portrayed in Scripture as a mist, a fast runner, a breath, and wisp of smoke. Talk about temporary! God is very blunt about the danger of living for the here and now and adopting the values, priorities, and lifestyles of the world around us. When we flirt with the temptations of this world, God calls it spiritual adultery.
Compared to previous centuries, life has never been easier for much of the Western world. We are constantly entertained, amused, and catered to. With all the fascinating attractions, mesmerizing media, and enjoyable experiences available today, it’s easy to forget that the pursuit of happiness is not what life is about.
God calls followers of Christ: aliens, (1 Peter 2:11), pilgrims (Hebrews 11:13), strangers (1 Peter 1:1), and exiles (Hebrews 11:13 NASV). Only as we live each day as a trust, test and temporary assignment will we fulfill God’s intended purposes for our lives.