What Are You Known For?

What Are You Known For?

When you hear the name Michael Jordan, what comes to your mind? Thomas Edison? George Washington? In each case, you might be able to come up with an event or two that stand out, but it wasn’t one single thing that made them famous. It was their general contribution by their life. In the same way, today’s readings show us that a single instance of doing right isn’t what defines you, but the pattern of your life.

In 2 Kings 6, we read one of those “highlight” moments in Elisha’s life. While chopping down trees, a man’s axehead flew off its handle and landed in the Jordan River. Imagine if you dropped something in the Susquehanna. You’d probably just give up on it because there’s a pretty low probability of finding it. Elisha asks the man to point out about where the axehead fell into the river. Then Elisha cut a stick, threw it in the water, and the axehead came to the top of the water. Being that metal doesn’t generally float, this was indeed a miracle. However, it wasn’t this moment that defined Elisha’s life. In fact, it wasn’t really any single moment. Rather, it was his commitment to proclaiming the truth no matter how unpopular it may be. Later on in the chapter, we find that his words and actions could even cost him his life.

Similarly, the book of Daniel is filled with familiar events: Daniel in the lion’s den, the hand writing on the wall, Daniel and his 3 friends not eating the meat offered to idols. But through the book, we find that Daniel maintained a resolute commitment to standing for truth no matter the cost. That commitment was first displayed upon his arrival in Babylon, which means he had already established that in his heart beforehand. Commitments don’t happen when the moment of testing arrives. They are made in the heart long before.

Paul’s ministry, though emphasized in a few cities, is really a testimony to the sanctification in Christ. Ephasus, Thessalonica, Galatia, Philippi, Colossae, Jerusalem, and Rome are just a few of the areas we know that Paul’s influence reached directly, but his faithful perserverance let him reach countless others.

So how can you live a life characterized like these “Heroes of the Faith?” The same way they did. By a daily commitment to God and to His Word. It isn’t enough to know what you need to do. We must be disciplined today to make the next step in the pattern of faithfulness. Your life won’t be defined by a single moment. Even if highlighted by a capstone moment, you will be defined by the pattern you set today.