We were at Target yesterday and we let our four year-old walk around with a toy mace made out of foam (you know… the spiky ball hanging from one nunchuck). At one point, as we walked past an older lady, our son rared back and took a swing at her. He only hit the lady’s purse that was hanging on her basket, but Keri and I were mortified! Immediately we belted out all three of our son’s names with great emphasis. To our surprise the lady was incredibly sweet about our son’s obvious dip into insanity. She gave a great smile and proceeded to lean down to his level and talk to him about his mace and ask if she could take a turn (she clearly had skill in the use of medieval weaponry). Before she left us, the lady told us that the event was a bright spot in her day. I was refreshed by her kindness and it got me thinking about the perspective we take into each day.
Now, I don’t know if this lady was a follower of Jesus or not, but her response is one that should mark everyone who believes the Gospel. Why? Because the Gospel is not just for getting you in the door of Christianity… it’s for every day of your life. Each day we should be living by faith in the reality that Jesus Christ came to earth as a man, lived a perfect life, died in our place, and rose from death three days later. Paul told the Corinthians that the Gospel was of “first importance” (1 Corinthians 15:3). He told this to them as people who were already believers… which means that the Gospel remains the main thing after conversion… which means the Gospel must have continued power to change how we live our lives.
Living life in light of the Gospel will even affect the way we respond to the little, annoying circumstances we encounter throughout the day, like a four year-old who thinks he’s a viking. Just think, what are the little things that grate on you from day to day and how can remembering the Gospel on those occasions change your response? For me, it’s spilling things. It’s strange, but whenever I spill some coffee or squirt some mustard on my shirt, the red menace inside me rears its ugly head. What perspective should I take into those moments? A perspective that believes when Jesus died for me, He made my life all about Him. As Paul says, “[I] am not my own for [I] have been bought with a price” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). Each time I freak out about spilling something, I’m forgetting that my life now belongs to Jesus and I should embrace the moments that bring me humility because humility is what I need to live most faithfully for God (2 Corinthians 12:9). This kind of Gospel perspective creates joyful responses to the things that “make you crazy” and those joyful responses bless others to the glory of God!