Weekly Thought – September 28, 2021
Fred believed in defining a lifestyle as a measure for making life decisions. He and Mary Alice set their priorities when they were newly married and renting one room from a “widow lady.” Several of their friends adopted this habit, as well. One couple said they decided how much money was enough, and when resources exceeded that limit, they increased their giving and not their consumption.
Defining a Lifestyle
A quality lifestyle doesn’t just happen – it takes hard work. When talking with those who are engaging in this exercise I ask them to consider several questions. Here are four of the principal ones:
1) What do I really enjoy doing? The thing I have a talent for, the thing I do best and enjoy the most should certainly be considered first. However, there should always be guidelines because certain things that people enjoy need to come into line with Christian thought. The lifestyle needs to be under the discipline of our scriptural faith.
2) When do I feel good about myself? This is the second defining question. What makes me feel I have meaning, worth, and uniqueness? Too many trade their gifts for money and success. Too many become a human medium of exchange sacrificing the gifts given for usefulness, not just for commerce. If meaning is derived only from getting and not giving, a dangerous line has been crossed.
3) When do I feel joy? What creates a deep sense of satisfaction? When do I get the “life should be like this more often” feeling? Personally, this comes in times of genuine worship. It is not limited to church services alone. It is in those times when I sense the largeness of God and the smallness of Fred. When I feel the smallest I feel the most secure.
4) What gives me balance and authenticity? Speaking to a large group of executives I mentioned the fact that it is wonderful to wake up at 2:00 in the morning and the “little guy” inside is happy to talk with me. But if he says, “Get lost. I’ve lost respect for you,” then I know I am in trouble. One of the men jumped up, saying, “Man, you have plowed up a snake!” I knew right away he had spent some early morning hours wrestling with his little guy.
There must be ethical harmony within the lifestyle we define. Our life must reflect good relations with our family, friends, and associates. A healthy lifestyle definition strives for a compatible, beautiful, harmonious life.
This week think about: 1) Which of the questions makes me really think? 2) How am I communicating this exercise to others? 3) When I have a definition, what will I do with it?
Words of Wisdom: “If meaning is derived only from getting and not giving, a dangerous line has been crossed.”
Wisdom from the Word: “You have made known to me the paths of life; you will make me full of joy with your presence.” (Acts 2:28 NET Bible)