One of the greatest business professors of our time, Clayton Christensen, wrote a book entitled “How will you measure your life” and he shares his journey as a reflection of the way life could be measured. While his theology may differ from ours, it gives us a place for considering how we should look at our lives.
If you think about it, our epitaph (gravestone if you want it simply put) will contain our name, our start date and our end date. And in between those two dates is this thing called the em-dash. It is a slightly longer dash than the usual one that you use, perhaps for visibility sake.
And guess what? Our entire life is captured in that single em-dash. All of it. Many people like to talk about trophies, crowns, awards and achievements. Others like to talk about the prestige, position, wealth and impact that they have made.
The Psalmist encapsulates all of the measure of a man in a single psalm - 112. On first reading, it sounds more like a blessing or even a statement made about those who fear God and delight in His commands. However, it is not so. It sets the agenda and the tone for proper life trajectory.
The Bible drops clues and hints as to how to measure up to real success.
So while people look for the success elements present in successful-looking people on social media, set an anchor point and then try to pivot and catapult themselves towards it, the Psalmist hit the nail on the head by turning our focus onto what really matters.
He tells us in Psa 112:1 – “Praise the Lord. Blessed are those who fear the Lord, who find great delight in his commands.” That is a starting point that correctly positions us. From this position, the rest of the chapter follows:
2 Their children will be mighty in the land; the generation of the upright will be blessed.
3 Wealth and riches are in their houses, and their righteousness endures forever.
4 Even in darkness light dawns for the upright, for those who are gracious and compassionate and righteous.
5 Good will come to those who are generous and lend freely, who conduct their affairs with justice.
6 Surely the righteous will never be shaken; they will be remembered forever.
7 They will have no fear of bad news; their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the Lord.
8 Their hearts are secure, they will have no fear; in the end they will look in triumph on their foes.
9 They have freely scattered their gifts to the poor, their righteousness endures forever; their horn[c] will be lifted high in honor.
10 The wicked will see and be vexed, they will gnash their teeth and waste away; the longings of the wicked will come to nothing.
To measure up, start off with the things that really matter. Jesus who is the Word of God made flesh, helps us by putting this Psalm into very simple terms “Seek first the kingdom of God and its righteousness, and all these things will be added to you”.
How are you measuring your life today?