Right thinking or right living? Which is more important to your life?
Unfortunately, for both of us and the people we want to share God's love with, we Christians sometimes separate the two and think a good life simply means assenting to a checklist of "proper beliefs." So we fight with other Christians who have a different list and we fail to change our world. And we do this, oddly enough, despite the fact that our list of beliefs includes humility, peace and making a difference.
God is not just interested in changing our minds, he is interested in changing our lives. This is right thinking, plus right living. And so God has Paul write in Ephesians 2:10, "For we are God's masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so that we can do the good things he planned for us long ago." --NLT
An enthralling encouragement to a simple life of service is the commencement address novelist and former New York Times columnist Anna Quindlen gave at Villanova University.
I have fallen in love with it and so, though this article then becomes hers, not mine, I share it:
"People don't talk about the soul very much anymore. It's so much easier to write a resume than to craft a spirit. But a resume is a cold comfort on a winter night, or when you're sad, or broke, or lonely, or when you've gotten back the test results and they're not so good.
"Here is my resume: I am a good mother to three children. I have tried to let my profession stand in the way of being a good parent. I no longer consider myself the center of the universe. I show up. I listen. I try to laugh.
"I am a good friend to my husband. I have tried to make my marriage vows mean what they say. I show up. I listen. I try to laugh.
"I am a good friend to my friends, and they to me. Without them, there would be nothing to say to you today, because I would be a cardboard cutout. But I call them on the phone, and I meet them for lunch. I show up. I listen. I try to laugh.
I would be rotten, or at best mediocre at my job if those other things were not true. You cannot be really first-rate at your work if your work is all you are.
"So here's what I wanted to tell you today: Get a life. A real life, not a manic pursuit of the next promotion, the bigger paycheck, the larger house. ... Get a life in which you are generous. Look around at the azaleas in the suburban neighborhood where you grew up; look at a full moon hanging silver in a black, black sky on a cold night. And realize that life is the best thing ever and that you have no business taking it for granted.
"Care so deeply about its goodness that you want to spread it around. ... Work in a soup kitchen. Be a big brother or sister. All of you want to do well. But if you do not do good, too, then doing well will never be enough."
Rick Cupp is the minister of Kenai Fellowship. Sunday Bible classes for all ages are held at 10 a.m., with coffee and visiting time 10:45 a.m. Worship is held at 11:15 a.m. Wednesday Bible classes and worship are at 7 p.m.
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