The way you see your life shapes your life. How you define life determnes your destiny. Your perspective will influence how you invest your time, spend your money, use your talents and value your relationships.
If you were asked how you picture life, what image would come to your mind? That image would be your life metaphor. It is the view of life that you hold, consciously or unconsciously, in your mind. It is your description of how life works and what you expect from it.
Most people express their life metaphors through clothes, jewelry, cars, hairstyles, bmper stickers or even tattoos. Your unspoken life metaphor influences your life more than you realize. It determines your expectations, your values, your relationships, your goals, and your priorities.
God's view of life is: Life is a test, Life is a trust, and Life is a temporary assignment.
Life on earth is a test. God continually tests people's character, faith, obedience, love, integrity and loyalty.
Character is both developed and revealed by tests and all of life is a test. God constantly watches your response to people, problems, success, conflict, illness, disappointment and even the weather. God even watches the simplest actions such as when you open the door for others, when you pick up a piece of trash or when you are polite toward a clerk or waitress or janitor or even to the lowest level of your personality. You will be tested by major changes, delayed promises, impossible problems, unanswered prayers, undeserved criticism and even senseless tragedies.
A very important test is how you act when you cannot feel God's presence in your life. Sometimes God intentionally draws back and we do not sense his closeness. Every day is an important day and every second is a growth opportunity to deepen your character, to demonstrate love, or to depend on God. Some tests seem overwhelming, while others you do not even notice, but all of them have eternal implications.
The second God's view of life is a trust. Our time on earth and our energy, intelligence, opportunities, relationships and resources are all gifts from God that he has entrusted to our care and management. We are all stewards of whatever God gives us.
This concept of stewardship started with the recognition that God is the owner of everything and everyone on earth. We never own anything during our stay on earth. It was God's property before you arrived and God will loan it to someone else after you die.
So, you just get to enjoy it for a while.
The first job God gave humans was to manage and take care of God's "stuff" on earth. Everything we enjoy is to be treated as a trust that God has placed in our hands.
At the end of your life on earth you will be evaluated and rewarded according to how well you handled what God entrusted to you. It means that everything you do, even simple daily chores, has eternal implications. If you treat everything as a trust, God promises three rewards in eternity. First, you will be given God's affirmation. Next, you will receive a promotion and be given greater responsibility in eternity. Then, you will be honored with a celebration.
Most people fail to realize that money is both a test and a trust from God. God uses finances to teach us to trust him, and for many people, money is the greatest test of all. God watches how we use money to test how trustworthy we are. Hence, life is a test and a trust, and the more God gives you, the more responsible he expects you to be.
Verse to Remember: "The person who is trustworthy in very small matters is also trustworthy in great ones; and the person who is dishonest in very small matters is also dishonest in great ones." Luke 16:10