Updated: Jan 26, 2019
“For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.” James 4:14
If my name disappears from memory like the mist that is my life, what is it to me? My only desire for this season on earth is to live in such a way that I will hear “well done my good and faithful servant.”
Now the world does a great job of selling us on the lie that being remembered means we’ve done something remarkable, memorable, worthy of a place in the Kingdom. But this is not what the bible teaches us.
The world says earn my favor. The Kingdom of God says share my favor.
“You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain…” John 15:16
Not your name, but your fruit.
I think it is worth noting that some of the most well-remembered people in the bible are nameless. The woman at the well. The boy with the two fish Jesus used to feed the thousands. The thief on the cross beside Jesus. The centurion who cried out “Surely this is the son of God.”
So what is the fruit that should remain?
The answer is in Galatians 5:22.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.”
Is my life is governed by this fruit? Is it evident in my life by the things I do and the words I speak?
I’ve seen the love of Jesus in faces of a thousand people whose names I’ll never know or can’t remember. Their name isn’t what matters. But the love of Christ reflected through them is imprinted on my soul forever. Not the fame of their name, but the love in their hearts influences everything I think and do.
We are meant to be, the same as these people, the conduit for God’s love being made known and shared in this world.
God isn’t glorified by my name being found in an entry on Wikipedia, having a building named after me, or any of the countless other things we chase after—even the things we chase after in the name of Kingdom building.
“By this My father is glorified, that you bear much fruit…” John 15:8
It doesn’t say great fruit, impressive fruit, magnificent, awe inspiring, look-what-I-did fruit. It just says much fruit. Don’t think that for our fruit to matter, it has a size requirement. Jesus tells us in the parable of the mustard seed, “…when it is sown on the ground, is smaller than all the seeds on the earth; but when it is sown, it grows up and becomes greater than all the herbs…” Mark 4:30-32
God can do great things with the things we think of as too small to notice.
We should seek to share our fruit of love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
gentleness, self-control generously, abundantly, and without regard to whether or not our
name will even be known, much less remembered.
So do not remember me. But if by my life, you remember Jesus, then I shall be content to hear “well done my good and faithful servant.”
Jesus is the only name worth remembering.