How Important Are You?

You might think this is a somewhat silly question. Me–important? Especially during times of personal trials and disappointment, frustration and feelings of failure and despair, you might perhaps conclude it would have been better for you and everyone around you if you had never been born–like James Stewart’s desperate character felt temporarily in his famous movie, “It’s a Wonderful Life.”

However, you would be wrong! God created you for a purpose. And who is to count the many people you are influencing in your life–for good or for worse?

During my wife’s and my vacation in Yugoslavia during the first year of our marriage, we saved a young girl from drowning. We have never heard of her again, but sometimes wonder what happened to her. Did she marry and have children? What became of her children?

So many events and occurrences in our personal lives are interconnected. My father (who died several years ago at the age of 95) told me that he stared death in the face at least twice, when fighting at the Russian front during World War II. He was convinced that somehow, his life was spared in a way which cannot be explained naturally. I am very thankful that it was, because otherwise, he would not have married; would not have had children; and his son–yours truly–would not have come into existence; would not have married; would not have children; and our grown-up married daughter would not give birth to her first child in a very few days from now.

Do we see how our lives are important for the lives of others? And that is not only true in the most obvious sense!

Our way of living influences and affects others. King David said that he had never seen the children of a righteous person begging for bread. His son, King Solomon, explained that the children of a righteous person would have a sure place of safety. God said in the Ten Commandments that He would extend His mercy with a righteous person for a “thousand generations” (Deuteronomy 7:9). This is, at least in part, the case because a truly converted person will train his children in the way they should go, and his influence will be for their good. God said about Abraham that he would teach his children to obey God.

Sadly, the reverse is also true. In the same context of the Ten Commandments, God said that the iniquity of the fathers would be visited upon their children “to the third and fourth generation of those who hate” Him (Exodus 20:5). This shows us how lengthy and involved our negative influence can be on our descendants. This is even true for righteous parents, when they slip up. Abraham lied about his wife Sarah, saying that she was his sister, and his son Isaac would later repeat the same lie about his wife Rebekah.

But if God calls you today to understand and live His truth, then you are also very important in God’s eyes for additional reasons. God predestined you before the foundation of the earth to choose you in this day and age for salvation. Out of all the billions of people alive today, He foreknew and called you, requiring of you to answer His call and to stay faithful until the end of your life.

Some have been trying to run away from their calling. They may think that it is really not that important. Jonah tried to “flee from the presence of the LORD,” unwilling to fulfill His mission; Jeremiah attempted to refuse to do God’s Will for him, claiming he was too young; Moses was at first unwilling to obey God, alleging he was not a good speaker. Amos might have felt he was not qualified, seeing that he was “just” a sheepbreeder. But in every case, God showed them otherwise, and they came to understand the importance of their calling.

God tells you never to give up; never to surrender; never to throw in the towel; never to look back. Your calling today is far too important. And with your calling comes responsibility. You can either hasten or delay the very return of Jesus Christ. Yes, you! That’s how important you are in the eyes of God. Peter says in regard to Christ’s promise of His Second Coming: “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us [or “you,” according to the NIV and the RSV], not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9).

Realize the importance of your way of living: Your refusal to repent at this time could delay the return of Christ! Think about that one. Do you feel as important about yourself as God does? At the same time, we can accelerate Christ’s coming. In the same context, Peter says: “… what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of the Lord…” (2 Peter 3:11-12).

God’s patience is not limitless. There will come a time when a tree which does not bear fruit, will be cut down and thrown into the fire, and when there “should be delay no longer” (Revelation 10:6). In the meantime, view yourself as an important future member of the Family of God, and realize that your life is not the product of “random chance.” God gave you your life for a reason! Never think that you don’t count, or that it is immaterial how you live. The potential fate of millions of people may be in your hands.

©2024 Church of the Eternal God