by Josh Fischer
Personally, there is not a more life-giving experience than seeing growth in myself and others. I always strive to be the best that I can as I believe that God calls each of us to greatness. Although greatness might look a little differently for everyone, there is one part of our call to greatness that we all share: doing good.
I spent basically my entire life as Christian and growing up in the church. My dad has been a pastor for as long as I can remember so, I was in church every Sunday. As I continued learning what it means to live a Christian life, I recognized a pattern to it. It seemed that there were simple rules to follow and the goal was to avoid breaking these rules no matter what. I heard things like, “don’t lie, don’t cheat, and don’t steal.” As I got older, the rules began to change in a more serious direction to things like, “don’t do drugs” or “don’t have sex before marriage,” but the guidelines to living as a good Christian all involved the word “don’t.”
During my time in high school, my life began to feel stagnant. I was not seeing the life-giving personal growth that I desired so much. What was I missing? I had gotten pretty good at not doing those bad things that I was taught, but I learned that I also needed to start doing good things. I had finally realized that there is more to life than avoiding sin. If I want to reach the goal of greatness that God calls me to, I am going to have to stop living my life with a focus on avoiding evil and get a new focus of doing good.
If Jesus set the perfect example for us with a focus on avoiding sin, he would have simply done the bare minimum while never messing up. Instead, Jesus lived his life to the fullest by having a focus on love and actively seeking others out to teach them how to live lives of greatness. Paul compares living the Christian life to a race, writing in 1 Corinthians 9:24, “Do you not know that in a race the runners all compete, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win it.” To properly live the way God intended, we need to go all out for God, leaving it all on the playing field. God calls us to do so much good that we do not have time for doing any bad.
As I now know, the most growth happens when I trust God and play an active role in the Story that God has written. I take a step closer to who God made me to be every time I choose to follow Jesus’ example of living with a focus of love.