Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

The True Measure of a Person

Philippians 1:21

For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.

RevRayThe true measure of a person – what could it be?  At times we measure ourselves by numbers.  I hit 58 recently – and this summer my bride and I will celebrate 33 years of marriage the Lord willing (she is a saint).  My babies are 30 and soon to be 25 (two of them).  I’m told I should join the Biggest Losers (by former friends and family members who I just wrote out of my will).  This fall I will hit 37 years since my call into ministry.  I shot an 81 the other day for 18 holes and wasn’t satisfied with the way I struck the ball.  We had our 1st grandchild 4 months ago.  My car is now 12 years old (the one I bought to replace the one that died in the accident with the tractor-trailer) – my wife’s is 14 years old (I’m trying to convince her to get a newer one).  My father died this fall at the young age of 84.  My mom will hit 85 in April – the Lord willing.  My retirement investments still haven’t fully recovered from the market drop several years ago but I keep hoping they will rebound fully and even climb higher.  Numbers play a big part in our lives.

Numbers tell the tale – at times – of our lives.  What we make – what we have saved – how many children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren tells the tale of our family tree going forward.  Sports are filled with statistics and numbers play an important role for sure.  Some people measure their lives by numbers.  Some count how many cars and what they cost as a measure of their lives.  Some the cost of their homes and even for others their summer homes.  Some count the number of vacations they take and where they go.  Some consider the size of their church or the size of their business.

What is it that measures your life?  What is the true measure of a person?  Although the family numbers are neat and I feel blessed to have a loving family and a growing one too – the real measure of a person – of a life well lived can be summed up in one way and one way only.  A life well lived can be defined by one’s relationship with Jesus.  Paul was writing about this in today’s passage – For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.  If he continued to live – it would be for Christ.  If he died – it would be gain – because he would go to be with Christ.  That is all that really held importance in Paul’s life.

Here is today’s passage in partial context – Philippians 1:20-26 – 20 I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. 21 For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. 22 If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! 23 I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; 24 but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body. 25 Convinced of this, I know that I will remain, and I will continue with all of you for your progress and joy in the faith, 26 so that through my being with you again your joy in Christ Jesus will overflow on account of me.

When we think of our desires in life – to be remembered – to have a family – to live in comfort – to gain a certain measure of success – to own a home – to drive a nice car/truck – to be successful in life – none of them should be the measure of a person.  Yet that is the measure many in our society use.  The true measure of a person is their relationship with Jesus – because all of the other things can be taken away – or at least not follow you to the grave.  But a relationship with Jesus is lasting – it is eternal – it will never fail us or leave us.  The true measure of a person is their relationship with Jesus!

Just something to think about today as you go on your way.

March 21, 2013 - Posted by | Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , ,


  1. very well written…..great way to start the day!


    Comment by john treanor | March 21, 2013 | Reply

    • Thanks John for the words of encouragement…


      Comment by raymcdonald | March 21, 2013 | Reply

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