Monday, July 18, 2011

After I'm Gone

2 Peter 1:12-15

Last fall, as I was preparing to go to Zambia, there were things that I had ready for my family in my absence.  I had a few meals ready for my husband and I had cleaned the house before leaving.  I also prepared the kids for the fact that I wouldn't be able to contact them regularly and that they would have to go several days before I could call.  I had things set up for my husband so he would know of any upcoming events for school such as open houses or parent/teacher conferences.  The verses I want to look at today gave a similar message to the church Peter was addressing.  He wanted to make sure that they would be prepared to continue growing in their walk with Christ even after he was gone.  Please look up 2 Peter 1:12-15.

Peter told the church he was addressing that even though they were already doing the things he listed earlier in the chapter, he would continue to remind them of these things as long as he lived.  His hope was that if he reminded them about how they should be living that they would remember even after he was gone.  Part of the human experience is that we will eventually die.  We may die unexpectedly or we may die from old age or a disease; either way, we will not always be here.  While we are here and are children of God, we have a responsibility to share God's love with others and to live out our faith.  This section of scripture makes me ask myself, "Do I live out my faith in a way that will continue to build into others even after I'm gone?"

I know that I can answer the question in regards to my family with a yes.  I try to model for my children what it means to have faith in God and to model the life He wants us to live.  When I look at my interactions with my neighbors, I find myself lacking.  Do I share the Good News with them so they can have the hope I have in Christ?  Do I show them in my interactions that God has made a difference in me so that they want what I have?  If I were to die today, would it matter to my neighbors?  I don't ask in a prideful way, I ask because if I am living the way God wants me to live in regards to my neighbors, it would matter to them if I were gone.

God has such gentle ways to remind us of areas He wants to see us grow and change, and today the idea of "after I am gone" has me thinking of the spiritual footprint I am leaving behind.  I am thankful that God is helping me to be a parent that is living a way that should remind my children to live as they should even after I am gone, but I realize that I need to step it up with my neighbors.  I want to leave a footprint that shows God's love and grace to all and not just my children.

How about you?  Are you living in a way with your family or neighbors that leaves them with an impression of who God is after you're gone?

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