13 March 2018

The Comprehensive Guide to Christian Life & Living


I hardly ever read Christian books anymore.

They confuse me too much. One writer says one thing; another says the complete opposite. Both claim to be speaking unequivocally for God Himself. After being pushed to the brink of despair one too many times by trying to follow diametrically opposed instructions, I finally gave up. I mean, it was a losing battle anyway. I couldn't even remember everything they said I was supposed to do, much less actually do it!

Perhaps you've experienced something similar. Well, I have good news. To put an end to all the confusion, I've compiled here a handy reference list for you to check off to make sure you're getting this whole "following God" thing right.

******

1. Listen to your heart; it's where you'll hear God's "still, small voice."
2. Ignore your heart; it's deceitful and desperately wicked.
3. God is upset and disappointed when you sin.
4. God is never upset or disappointed with you, even when you sin, because you are in Christ and He is perfect.
5. Wait and trust God and He will give you the desires of your heart.
6. God won't necessarily give you the desires of your heart because He wants you to trust Him no matter what.
7. Emotions are unreliable and should never be counted on.
8. Emotions are nudges from the Holy Spirit and should never be ignored.
9. You can't mess up God's plan because He is in control.
10. You can mess up God's plan if you make the wrong choices -- just look at Adam and Eve!
11. Forgiving others means you're opening yourself up to the possibility of being hurt again.
12. Forgiving others doesn't mean allowing them to keep hurting you.
13. God has given you your particular set of gifts, strengths, and abilities for your unique calling.
14. It doesn't matter if you have no strengths or abilities relevant to your calling; God wants to use you in your weakness.
15. God only uses "broken" Christians.
16. God wants you to be whole.
17. God will give you whatever you ask if you ask in faith.
18. God won't necessarily give you what you're asking for; He's not a magic genie.
19. If you're obeying God, you won't keep struggling with the same sin over and over.
20. Struggling with the same sin over and over is practically inevitable because of our fallen nature.
21. Being "in Christ" means we should always be happy. Turn that frown upside down!
22. Being "in Christ" doesn't mean we will always be happy -- we still live in a fallen, sinful world.
23. Jesus is all you need. If you have Him, you shouldn't need or want anything else.
24. God has created you to need certain things such as human companionship, meaningful work, etc.
25. Before you forge ahead into anything in life, you should "count the cost", i.e., plan ahead.
26. Jump in with both feet! Planning ahead indicates a lack of faith and total reliance on God.
27. Serving God means serving others.
28. You should never let serving others get in the way of serving God.
29. Taking care of your own personal needs is wise stewardship of your health and well-being.
30. Taking care of your own personal needs is selfish and means that you have not "died to self."
31. God has a plan for your life that you need to work to discover.
32. God gives you the freedom to decide what you want to do with your life.
33. If you desire to be married, that's a good desire from God Himself, and a sign that it's His will for you to marry.
34. If you desire to be married, that's a sign that you haven't surrendered your love life to God; He very well might want you to remain single.
35. Don't complain when you pray -- you have so much to be thankful for, and besides the Bible says to "rejoice evermore" and "give thanks in all things."
36. Tell God anything, even your complaints -- He knows it all anyway.
37. When you pray, address God with respect, as if you were talking to the President.
38. When you pray, address God intimately, as if you were talking to your best friend.
39. Before you move forward with any major decision in life, you should pray until you feel absolutely, positively, 100% certain of God's will.
40. You should be very cautious if you feel 100% certain of God's will in major life decisions because that means you're not "leaving room for faith", or the possibility that you might be wrong, or that God might be trying to lead you elsewhere.
41. Be yourself, even if other people don't like it, in order to be "authentic" and "genuine."
42. Hold back those aspects of yourself that other people may not like, in order to avoid "being a bad testimony."
43. Marriage is a refining fire! Besides, God doesn't want you to happy; He wants you to be holy!
44. Marriage is supposed to be a taste of heaven on earth! God wants you to be happy; if you're not, something is wrong.
45. You should feel a sense of personal fulfillment and satisfaction when you serve where God wants you to, because He created you with certain gifts that are well suited to your individual make-up.
46. You won't necessarily feel a sense of personal fulfillment or satisfaction when you serve where God wants you to, because He knows unpleasant and difficult experiences will "stretch" you and make you grow spiritually.

******

While I can't necessarily agree with anyone who says the Bible is full of contradictions, I have to give a hearty "amen" to anyone who says that Christians are full of contradictions! And these are only the ones I could think of just now, off the top of my head! Any of them sound familiar to you?

1 comment: