Too Soon To Die?
Jim Elliot wrote these words not long before he himself was taken in youth – killed in his late twenties by the savage tribe to whom he was sent as a missionary. But did he die too soon? Was it reckless of him to undertake a missionary endeavour that he knew would put his life at risk? Was it irresponsible of him and unthoughtful towards his wife and young daughter?
The answer would be ‘yes’, if Jim had taken a ‘live long and be happy’ approach to life. However, the answer is ‘no’ because he knew the whole purpose of man is not to live a long life, but, “Man’s chief end is to glorify God” (Westminster Shorter Catechism).
Jim Elliot died young, but that’s not the point. The question is – how did he live? And how did he spend the time that he had? He offered his life, his time, his energy and his abilities to the Lord and lived his life for God’s glory. He didn’t flit away every precious moment and say he would serve God properly when he was older.
Jim risked his life not because of pride or out of a desire for personal achievement, but in obedience to God’s call to take the gospel to men living in foreign countries and pagan cultures. His witness enabled them to find their chief end - to glorify God. We may not be called to do what Jim Elliot did, but we must still glorify God in whatever we are called to do, even in the seemingly small things.
The time that we have to live is here and now. How will you spend it? If you died now what would have been the purpose of your life?
By Becsy Wells
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