Living a Useful Life

by Karen Sargent

Have you ever thought about the impact your life makes?

Benjamin Franklin said “I would rather have it said, ‘He lived usefully,’ than, ‘He died rich.’” 

What if we had a bank account and each day $1,440 was deposited in it? The money can be spent in any way we like, but we can’t save it or go into debt. What would you do with the money? How would you spend it?

We actually do have an account like that, but not at the bank. Instead of dollars, those are the precious minutes of each day we live. Our time can be spent or even invested in whatever we want, but we can only live it once. Life is like a one way street, you can’t go back.

Have you ever decided to make your life useful?

After considering those limits, our time and choices are suddenly worth more. Does this cause you to rethink some of your choices? Instantly some things lose their value and other things become priceless. Our goal is to make sure that we choose the best use of our valuable resources. If your goal is to be significant, invest your time in living a useful life. That means intentionally adding value to the lives of others makes my life more purposeful and satisfying.

In order to live a life of purpose, we must look at key areas of our life. When we invest time thinking about how these keys impact or determine our effectiveness, we can set goals. Then through discipline, or actively pursuing those goals, we get better, and more useful

The key areas that determine the usefulness of our lives are

1. The relationships we develop

2. The decisions we make

3. The experiences we have

First our relationships determine who we are and who we will become. That’s huge! Choices we make about who we spend time with and share our lives with have a mighty impact . The decisions we make decide who we are and who we will be in the future. In every life there are pivotal relationships that can cause our entire life to change direction. These are the relationships that decide the kind of life we will lead. 

Every person in your life will fall into one of four categories

Addition: They add to your life, making it better.

Subtraction: They subtract from your life, taking more than they bring.

Multiplication: They multiply or cause rapid increase when you are around them.

Division: They divide, or create division. 

I encourage you to take time to think about the people in your life and which category they fall into. It’s important to consider how you affect them, not only which ones add to your life. The usefulness of our life is directly related to how we affect others. Dr. Johnnie Blount often says, “It’s only what we do for others that will last.”

Relationship rules

As you invest in relationships, consider these relationship rules that John Maxwell shared. The first rule is get along with yourself. Your relationship with yourself affects every other relationship you have. If you have problems everywhere you go, you may be the problem. 

Second, value people. A useful life is not one based solely on what is good for you. John Maxwell said “You can’t make another person feel important if you think they are useless.” Appreciating others and adding value to another person is a great way to invest your time.

The third rule is make the effort to build relationships. Serve others. The people who serve others are not lonely and unfulfilled. Serving is a natural cure for loneliness.

Fourth is the boomerang rule. What you give, you will get. Eventually the way you treat others  will come back to you. What you sow, you will reap. The attitudes you have toward other people will eventually be mirrored back into your life.

And finally, follow the golden rule. You will always be on the right track if you treat others the way  you would like to be treated..

Make the most of every day

In closing, living a useful life involves making the most of every day. Our life is well spent when it is lived serving others. If we heighten our awareness of the opportunities that come to make a difference, we will have a significant effect on others.

How do you know if you have a useful life? If you are giving, loving, serving, helping, encouraging, and adding to others, you will be making a difference in the lives of those around you.

More inspiring messages are available here:

Bible Study happens  every Tuesday Live on Facebook: at 10:30 AM and 7PM EST.

Watch us on You Tube

Powerful courses are available at Be the Word Kingdom Academy