Learning to Live Well

change.jpgWednesdays are very long days.  I leave for work that morning and don’t get home until late that evening.  Yesterday included a usual leadership meeting at 5:15 and then a meal in our community center building.  After the meal, I taught an adult Bible class.  I have always enjoyed teaching on Wednesday evenings.  There is an informality and energy that is very stimulating.

 

This week, I have also been stimulated and encouraged by my reading.  I started Phillip Yancey’s new book entitled Prayer and had difficulty putting it down.  (Seriously!)  I encourage you to consider reading it.  Yesterday, I read the October issue of Richard Foster’s Perspective.  He shares "A Dream…and a Hope."  You can read the entire article here.   

Foster begins the article by saying: I dream of a day when spiritual formation
has so saturated all who follow hard after
Jesus that they become known to all as experts
in how to live well…

 

  • How to love a spouse well.
  • How to raise children well.
  • How to study well.
  • How to face adversity well.
  • How to run businesses and financial institutions well.
  • How to form community life well.
  • How to reach out to those on the margins well.
  • How to die well.

The above list caught my attention.  In fact, after reading the entire article, I read through this list again several times.  Why is this list attractive to me?  Because I want to live well.  I do not want to just exist.  Nor, do I want to settle.  So, there are some questions I want to keep before me:

 

  • How does Jesus want me to love my spouse?
  • How does Jesus want me to raise my children?
  • How does Jesus want me to study?
  • How does Jesus want me to face the adversity in my life?
  • How does Jesus want me to behave as a business person?
  • How does Jesus want me to function so that real community exists where I am?
  • How does Jesus want me to relate to those on the margins?
  • How does Jesus want me to handle my death?

Maybe this sounds overly simplistic.  I don’t think so.  In fact, for me as a Christian, these questions are critical.  It is far too easy to continue bad habits and laziness or to just settle for living as those around me seem to be living.  Yet, I believe that, in the end, to not seriously grapple with these questions is my loss.  Anyway, this is what I am praying about today.


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7 thoughts on “Learning to Live Well

  1. I think these are all good, necessary questions inspired in some way by thoughtful meditations on the Word of God, especially what it reveals about the life of Christ. I’ve called such an attitude toward spiritual discipline a serious joy. To ask less of ourselves would be to think less of Christ.

  2. I think these are excellent questions, the questions Jesus would want us to ask ourselves and the things he demands we examine in ourselves.  These are the areas where faith and life intersect.

  3. Jim, 
    Thanks for the thoughts from Foster’s work and your thought provoking questions.  Living well–the quest of all humans!  And, I think, the way to do evangelism in the 21st century.  We simply must, for the sake of God’s glory and the life of humans all around, learn to live well, and then teach others to do the same.  People don’t want another smart answer to a religious question, they want know how to live now . . . today, and as you suggested, how to die well.  I’m looking forward to expounding on this subject with our congregation between now and the end of the year as we grapple with the question:  Do we want to be tower builders or well diggers (Gen. 11 & 12)?  Only Jesus teaches us how to live well, though it sounds terribly paradoxical.  A holy life is little more than a life lived well, in Christ, and by grace. 

  4. Jan–Thanks!  I found Foster’s questions to be particularly helpful. Trace–I like what you said.  These are the areas where life and faith intersect.Greg–Thanks–let me get back with you regarding this.