Tag Archives: purpose

One-Dimensional

I often feel a subtle pressure upon myself to “find a hobby” and I confess that I have spent no small amount of time feeling guilty for not having more hobbies. I feel slightly embarrassed that I don’t have some admirable list of impressive hobbies, all of which I have devotedly poured countless hours (and dollars) into so as to master them.After all, most of the times, when I initially meet someone, the conversation eventually drifts to hobbies: sports, movies, music, video games, TV shows, recreational shopping, golf, fishing, stamp collecting, whatever. I feel… boring, unimpressive, lame; like I just don’t fit in.

No more.

While none of those things are bad things, I don’t want to make them into ultimate things. I don’t want them to define me. I have decided that I want to be one-dimensional. I want to be defined by one thing and one thing only: Christ and Him crucified. I want to appear obsessed to those around me. I want to look crazy. I am convinced that the average Christian American is an American first and a Christian somewhere else on their list. I want to be a Christian, nothing else. I want my thinking to be like my Christ’s, not my culture’s. I want my heart to look like my Christ’s, not my culture’s. I want my priority’s to look like my Christ’s, not my culture’s. I want to be free of all the seductive deceptions of this world and wholly devoted to the liberating Truth.

I don’t want to be “well-rounded.” I don’t want to be “balanced.” If we’re honest, aren’t those just nice ways of saying “lukewarm”? I don’t want to be lukewarm. I want to burn out bright, knowing that I have lived my life fully for the glory of my King, my Savior, my Lord. I want to be one-dimensional so that, when I pass from this life to the next, I may hear the words, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”

A Simple Idea for Christian Decision Making: Up or Down?

“Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth” (Colossians 3:2).

At one time or another we all face major life decisions. If you’re like me, it often feels like God directs you to a point, but then He leaves you to take that final leap of faith. I often feel like I’m brought to a ledge and told to leap. Don’t worry, just jump and trust that God will catch me. Or perhaps it feels like He leads you to an intersection, where you have two or more possible choices and it’s up to you to make the right decision.

I’m not one of those people who receives a sense of deep, unshakable peace about a decision. Instead, I often feel the opposite: nervous, excited, and perhaps more than a little curious; almost like I’ve just been strapped into a roller coaster. And so, at life’s precipices, I prayerfully leap regardless of whether or not it makes sense. I do so because I know that God has called me to be faithful to Him, not successful in this life. The last thing I want is to finish this life and show up at the next one as someone who was very successful in the eyes of the world but completely unfaithful in the eyes of my Heavenly Father; a temporary success but an eternal failure.

Recently, I’ve been studying Colossians 3:1-4 and run across a new way to make decisions. As I’ve discussed before, in this passage we’re told to set our minds on the things above and not on the things that are on the earth. While it would be easy to just casually pass over that verse without much contemplation, I have slowly realized that this is one of the most practical Bible verses I’ve ever encountered. This verse separates all things into two essential categories: things above and things upon the earth.

How easy would it be for us to make decisions if we asked this simple question: “Am I seeking the things above or am I seeking the things upon the earth?” I’m quickly realizing that this framework can apply to virtually anything from dating, to marrying, to raising children, to buying a home, to choosing a college, to determining a career path, you name it. Sure, not everything fits into a simple up or down division; sometimes both decisions are ‘upward’ options, such as buying a home. Then you can simply determine which decision takes you higher. For example, which home would put you in a better position to reach out to neighbors and share Christ? Which home would give you an extra room to allow others to stay with you if they needed? Which home would be better for practicing hospitality? Or perhaps you feel God leading you to choose a house that would be smaller, but would allow you to be more generous with your money. Perhaps, by choosing a house that has one less room, you’re able to fully fund a well to be dug in Africa every other year. When there’s not a black & white, right or wrong answer, perhaps there’s a good and a better option. Perhaps there isn’t a clear-cut right answer, but perhaps there is an option that gives you more ability to seek the things above.

From now on, I think Colossians 3:2 is going to be one of the first Bible verses I share with people who are faced with big decisions and want to know God’s will. What does God want you to do with your life? Set your minds on the things that are above, not on things that are on earth. While this may not tell us what to decide, it certainly tells us how to decide. Our decisions should be made in light of eternity, not in light of the next 5, 10, or 50 years. We need to see this life as a short opportunity to make an eternal difference. I challenge you need to seek counsel from fellow believers and from the Holy Spirit to ensure that you are making decisions that seek the things above and not the things upon the earth.

Wayne Grudem on significance

To be significant to God is to be significant in the most ultimate sense. No greater personal significance can be imagined.

Wayne Grudem, Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Theology (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1994), 163.

Laurie Beth Jones explains why you need a purpose statement

“A purpose statement is, in essence, a written down reason for being. Jesus’ mission helped him decide how to act, what to do, and even what to say when challenging situations arose. Clarity is power: once you’re clear about what you were put here to do then ‘jobs’ become only a means towards accomplishing your mission, not an end in themselves.”

Laurie Beth Jones