by Eric Spangler, Asia Area Director
“You like taking selfies, don’t you, uncle?”
I must admit, when my Indian “niece” Karuna posed this question as she scrolled through my iPhone photos, I was a bit embarrassed. “I take them to send back to my family,” I offered.
A “selfie” is a picture you take of yourself. You can post it online or send it to someone. You’re saying, “Look where I’ve been!” “Look who I’m with!” “Here’s something that matters to me!”
The people around you know what matters most to you. Do you know what you’re telling them?
Sometimes we need a little life recalibration when it comes to what matters most to us. If you calibrate or recalibrate something, you adjust it meticulously so it fits a certain standard. You correlate readings so they conform to accepted external factors. As someone committed to living fully surrendered to Jesus, I find I need to regularly recalibrate — evaluate and adjust my priorities, my time, my spending habits. I need to consider even routine choices. I try to examine everything so my life is lined up with what really matters most.
So, what does matter most?
It matters how we treat people. All people – particularly important when it comes to people “not like us.” By taking a spiritual selfie I gain some self-awareness. In fact, I might ask a trusted friend to look over this snapshot with me: How do I come across to others? What is my attitude saying about me? From where has God rescued me? What do I need to remember about myself? What do I need to remember about Jesus?
When you see Jesus for Who He really is, you see yourself as you really are. You see others for who they really are. Beloved. Reflecting the image of the Creator. Deserving of dignity and respect. In need of a Savior.
And I suggest that the way we treat people we have not seen matters as well. Just because you’ve never seen slavery does not mean it does not exist. Just because you’ve never been on a trip to Asia doesn’t mean you’re off the hook in terms of sharing the message of Jesus.
Here’s how to recalibrate your life to what matters most: Help someone who has messed up get back on their feet. Share someone’s burden. You are not too important, too busy, too poor, too hurting, too old, too unequipped to help someone — in fact, it’s when we recalibrate our lives to what matters most that we actually are obedient to and are becoming more like Jesus. “Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too” (Philippians 2:4 NLT).
It also matters what we do about the cross.
“As for me, may I never boast about anything except the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Because of that cross, my interest in this world has been crucified, and the world’s interest in me has also died” (Galatians 6:14 NLT).
Because of the cross, I have no more use for things that don’t really matter. And the things that don’t really matter recognize my general disinterest. The cross is the great recalibrater of priorities. It reminds us of Jesus’ mission, and our co-mission; it gives us perspective. It is about sacrifice – death to self. The cross calls uncompromisingly for obedience. The cross reminds us of a dangerous kind of love, a love that believes all things and hopes all things. A love that points other people to Jesus. In fact . . .
Love is what matters most.
Paul once wrote: “I pray that your love will overflow more and more, and that you will keep on growing in knowledge and understanding. For I want you to understand what really matters, so that you may live pure and blameless lives until the day of Christ’s return” (Philippians 1:9-10 NLT).
Love really matters. Love for God. Love for others. The greatest commandment makes the greatest commission a natural response. Love is a universal language. Love crosses barriers – oceans, cultures, differing opinions, preferences, and even pain – to give away its great news. Love recalibrates and redirects our lives back toward the One who really matters most.
So go ahead. Take that selfie. Then take a good long look at yourself, and see what matters most.