“A hundred years from now, who will care how successful we were or how comfortable our lives were? What will matter then is what we invested our lives in.”
I read that quote in a book by Steve Saint, son of missionary martyr Nate Saint, whose story is told in the classic book “Through Gates of Splendor.” Steve Saint thought of this quote while contemplating a move to the jungle for the Gospel’s sake. Surely such a decision would require an investment mindset, but I’m convinced it’s not just “big” sacrifices that in the end will matter. Just as the secret to wealth in finances is often a commitment to make small sacrifices that enable regular investments, we, too, have chances each day to make “little” investments that will affect eternity: Instead of crashing in front of the TV, we can choose to spend time focused on our kids. Instead of using our money just on ourselves, we can use our finances to build God’s kingdom. Instead of making excuses for not visiting people we know need companionship, we could find the time to be a friend. None of these investments require a sacrifice as big as leaving our homes to serve in the jungle, but all of them do require a willingness to give of ourselves to invest in others.
We have an example of this kind of giving in Jesus Christ. Jesus made the ultimate sacrifice in leaving heaven to die for us, but the Gospels are also full of accounts of “little” sacrifices and investments He made throughout His life. He did not weary in doing good, and we must not either, “for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people” (Galatians 6:9, 10 NIV).