Live In Such A Way
Last week, my cell phone provider here in South Africa sent out this mass SMS (text): “Need help with your New Year’s resolution to quit smoking? Dial *136*3# and get daily Quit Smoke tips FREE for the first two weeks.”
I had to chuckle when I saw the word FREE in bold letters, followed by “for the first two weeks”. It is a reminder that nothing in life comes absolutely free, there are strings attached.
How many reading this blog today have already managed to break their New Year’s resolution established eleven days ago? Have you ever considered the fact that the breaking of your personal resolution may actually cause someone who is watching your life to stumble?
I like the words of the Apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians 6:3 & 4
“We live in such a way that no one will stumble because of us, and no one will find fault with our ministry. In everything we do, we show that we are true ministers of God.” (NLT)
Early in 2016, I want to challenge us to“live in such a way” that we are not dependent upon a resolution at the beginning of a new year, instead, we choose a lifestyle that is lived out on a daily basis throughout the whole year.
Paul’s resolve to “live in such a way”, begins with a list of tribulations in his life – troubles, hardships, distresses, beatings, imprisonments, riots, handwork, sleepless nights, and hunger.
In 2 Corinthians 11:27 & 28, he says: “I have laboured and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked. Besides everything else, I face daily the pressure of my concern for all the churches.”
I don’t know about you, but I have never heard anyone begin a new year of resolutions by saying: “This coming year, I resolve to live a life of troubles, hardships, distresses, beatings, imprisonment, hard work, sleepless nights and hunger”
Paul, however, goes on to talk about how we can respond to, and survive, the curve balls that life sometimes throws our way. They are not resolutions made at the beginning of a new year, but attributes lived out on a daily basis – purity, understanding, patience, kindness, sincere love, and truthful speech.
I challenge you, as I challenge myself, to “live in such a way” that come January 1st of any given year, we don’t have to scramble to come up with a resolution that has the potential to fail even before we start. Instead, live out purity, understanding, patience, kindness, sincere love, and truthful speech every day of the year.
Dave Roper, puts it best: “Live in such a way that when people think of honesty and integrity, they think of you.”
Happy New Year!