Not that I seek the gift, but I seek the profit that is increasing to your account.

Philippians 4:17

Written by Maurice Painter

When I was an adolescent, my father (a SBC pastor) said to my older brother and me one Saturday morning, “Expect God to ask you to do something important someday.” Thomas Painter was an example to follow., for he instilled in me, by conversation, a love for the Scripture and taught me, by example, to pray as if conversing with a parent. And, he married the young, buried the old, and counseled those in the middle with wisdom and compassion. God made sure we had enough, for Dad looked to Him.

From this foundation, I have pursued the iteration of education and experience of each aspiration with the question, is this that ‘something important’? Each has been preparation for the next assignment from God. Perhaps, this latest is the final; perhaps not. That’s up to God.

What I have learned, though, is most important and is captured in God’s instruction in Jeremiah 9.23-24:
“Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom,
Let not the mighty man glory in his might,
Nor let the rich man glory in his riches;
But let him who glories glory in this,
That he understands and knows Me,
That I am the LORD, exercising lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth. For in these I delight,” says the LORD.”

Life should not be measured by the levels of education or by stature and longevity or by the artifacts of wealth. Life should be measured by knowing and understanding God. Can you imagine? The Creator of the Universe wants us to know and understand Him! We are His image, assigned individual tasks for the common good, and enlightened by His Spirit in this pursuit. He gives us wisdom for the circumstances of life and the resources needed for success with our assignments. He, even, keeps us productive in later life.

So, I continue to pass to family and friend the “something important” that my Dad passed along to me: know and understand God better each day. This is the only lasting legacy.

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