Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ [who has given us]…an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade…. These [trials] have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed…. For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors…. For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God (1 Peter 1:3-4, 7, 18, 23).
Peter, in his first New Testament letter, likes to stick opposites together. Yesterday I wrote about the battle between the seen and the unseen realms, and how the unseen, though it seems that it has less effect on our lives, actually has the greatest impact.
The same is true for the perishable/imperishable pair. Even silver and gold, though it is purified in a fire, still one day will become tarnished and useless. Such things, though they are valued in this world, are not of high enough value or enduring quality that they can pay the price for the redemption of our souls.
The true and imperishable thing is the seed which God has implanted in our hearts through his word, because it is living, active, and growing. And whatever grows in our lives will not wither, but be preserved and allowed to flourish now and into eternity.
Again, this is hard to wrap my mind around because I see things like gold as being good and imperishable because it has such longevity from a human point of view. But what is the span of a human life or the circulation lifespan of a coin when compared to the rise and fall of empires and the plans that God has for the universe? These are the imperishable realities that (ought) to govern our lives.
So what do we do? How do we make this shift in perspective? It’s really about how we spend our time. Do we spend our time pursuing those things which are perishable, or do we invest time in things which will endure? Is time better spent with friends, family, and God, or with the television? The list of questions we might pose can be endless, but the bottom line is: How can we value the truly value things?
Lord Jesus, help me to make the shift in my perspective from valuing the perishable things of this world to being fixated on what is imperishable. Help me value your work in me, the relationships around me, and my contributions to your kingdom work — these things will last into eternity.