by Jonathan Daugherty
“Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:13
Your time is the greatest gift you can give. But, of course, there is more to it than that if it is going to be a gift that has lasting significance.
Dawson Trotman (pictured) was a man who understood the value of personal investment in the lives of others. He was the founder of The Navigators, a ministry whose primary mission is to “know Christ and make Him known” through the consistent study and memorization of God’s Word. Dawson began investing these discipleship principles into the lives of high schoolers back in the early 1930′s. Then, in 1933, he and some of his friends extended their work to sailors in the Navy. The rest, as they say, is history…
Up until his dying breath, Dawson Trotman was about giving of himself for the betterment of others. In fact, he was doing just that when he took his final breath.
On June 18, 1956, Dawson was out boating with friends at Schroon Lake, New York when a sudden wave threw him and a young woman into the water. Knowing that this young woman could not swim, Dawson held her head above the water until the boat could circle around to pull her aboard. After rescuing the woman, those in the boat went to reach down for Dawson. Tragically, he had already disappeared beneath the water’s surface. He practiced what he preached, laying down his life for his friends.
There is, however, a very important key to understanding the true value of investing yourself in the lives of others: give for God’s glory, not your own. It is easy to want to adopt an attitude toward giving that will prop up our own importance and the “splendor” of our own generosity and sacrifice. But such motives will reap no eternal rewards. Our mindset toward giving our time, talent and treasure should never be with the intention of manipulating some preconceived response from those to whom we give. (Give “freely,” as we learned from a previous post.) Invest your life into others so that they may in turn invest themselves into another and so on.
I am not sure if I would do what Dawson did on that lake back in 1956. I have quite a ways to go to care about others in such a selfless manner. But today is a new day, a day in which proper thoughts can be spun and selfless decisions can be made. This is the day I will choose to invest in my friends without regard for my reputation or personal gain. This is a day for no more regrets…
How about you? Is this such a day in your life?