Nine Ways to Live

I love the letter "D." I’m not a preacher, but if I were, I’d love to preach a sermon with lots of D-words to illustrate the various ways that Christians live. There are many negative approaches to life (perspectives, lifestyles, thought patterns) that are dangerous to our spiritual health and our effectiveness for God, but also some biblical ones that I believe God wants us to embrace.

We may be Dogmatic, and by that, I mean prejudiced and intolerant, rigid and perhaps judgmental. I think of the disciples when they wanted to send the children away, or the prejudice against the Samaritan woman (Mark 10:14; John 4:5-42). Living by biblical convictions is crucial, but dogmatism for the sake of dogmatism can be foolish. We may be Deceptive, hiding (in pride) who we are and what we do, like Ananias and Sapphira (Acts 5:1-11), instead of living authentic, transparent lives to the glory of God. We may be Distracted by the things of this world or own selfish desires, and end up being unfruitful for the Kingdom of God (2 Timothy 2:3-4; Colossians 3:2). Martha comes to mind—she loved Jesus, but lost her focus (Luke 10:40-42). We may be Driven by inner and external motivators—the tyranny of the urgent—until we are worn out and ready to collapse. Again, I think of Martha ... and my own busyness! We may be Defiled, polluted by the culture, and refusing to acknowledge sin when God calls for purity (2 Timothy 2:22; James 1:27; I Peter 2:9).

On the other hand, by God’s grace we can be Devoted to Him and the Word, to biblical priorities and convictions, to the mandate to reach our world for Christ (Romans 12:2). We can be Disciplined and orderly, making wise choices in our inner life and pursuing excellence in our everyday experience (Proverbs 25:28; 1 Corinthians 9:27). We can be
Decisive, bringing every thought captive to Christ and making choices that align with His heart and Word (2 Corinthians 10:5). And we can be Determined, persevering in our faith-filled, obedient walk with God—finishing well with courage (1 Corinthians 9:24-26).

I’m sure there are many other D’s, both on the negative and positive sides, and scriptures to accompany them. It’s all about our choices. As my friend Pam Farrel says, "We make our choices, and our choices make us."

Which "D" word do you think is the hardest to overcome? Which positive "D" best describes your walk with God?

Two helpful posts related to Purpose: "Staying Alive" and "Mindless Activity".


HisFireFly said...

I have a hard time with Distraction even when I know it's one of the enemy's favourite tricks. But I am most surely Devoted to the Lord and to the things of His Kingdom.

What a clear and thought provoking post, thank you!

Maria Keckler said...

I too have a hard time with Distractions, but the tough one for me is "Deceived" when I allow the lies of the enemy to take root. Fortunately, I am also "Determined" to shake the lies off my mind and focus on the truth.

Great post, Dawn! Great questions to inspire food for thought too.