Some Decent Guidelines for Life

Most of my adult life I have worked to live by a number of guidelines. These decisions early in my walk as a believer and a Christian leader have helped me in every area of my walk with Jesus and in every situation I have found myself in as a Christian and as a leader. These were thought through many years ago with the help of a mentor whose books I devoured and whose teachings I listened to on a regular basis for many years.

These are the decisions that I made that have helped me in so many situations in life and in ministry…

1> Always put people first

Often we can put a task before people. For example, we have often many things to do before a service starts on the weekend. So, we become task oriented to accomplish what needs to be done often neglecting people who are arriving early; people walking by us on their way to doing something; or those who might just need a hug and a warm hello. 

In the business world often profit comes before people – staff, customers, family members. Making a profit becomes more important than the people who are helping you to be successful and make a profit.

Remember: always put people first

2> Live to make a difference, not to make money

Live your life and chosen career to make a difference and not to make a living. Work to live and don’t live to work. You only have a given number of days upon the planet and you should, as a believer, make every one of those days count for the Kingdom. We are here, as Spirit-filled believers, to make a difference. The world should be better off because you spent time on the planet. Each of us needs to do more than breathe the air and use up space during our time on Earth.

God has a plan and a purpose for you and you need to discover what it is. He is not keeping it a secret. However, you do need to seek after Him and His Kingdom to discover what that purpose is. And, as you fulfil that purpose, you will maker a difference.

Remember: Live to make a difference, not to make money

3> Be myself, but be my best self possible

As a believer you need to find out “who you are in Christ.” He has made you “a new creature in Christ” when you were born again. Who is this person who is now “in Christ?” And, then, once you discover who you are as you journey with Jesus  – you work to be the best you that you can be. 

As you journey with the Lord and discover how He has wired you – your motivational gifts as found in Romans 12:4-8 – you will begin to see what your hot buttons are. And these interests and the passion you feel will indicate the beginning of discovering who He created you to be. 

Then, as you continue to discover who you are you have the joy and yes, even fun, of learning how best to express the best you there is – how you are going to live, your values, your morals, your dress code, your friends. 

Remember:  Be myself, but be my best self possible 

4> Express gratitude – reject entitlement

Today’s generation seems to believe that they are entitled to a good life and all the benefits of that good life. They believe that they should not have to work or struggle to obtain those benefits. They are simply entitled to them.

To live as a believer we need to understand that we are not entitled to anything and that all we have, including life itself, is a result of a gracious and powerful God who loves us. 

As a result, instead of constantly demanding more, better, bigger we should be expressing gratitude for what we do have – as little or as much as that may be. We need to reject the whole concept of ‘entitlement.’

Remember: Be myself, but be my best self possible

5> Be willing to be misunderstood and lonely for the right reasons

As believers in a non-Christian world we will need to make quality decisions based on Scripture. We will live moral and ethical lives based on the life example of Jesus as set out in the gospels.  Our choices and the things we stand for and defend will not always be understood and accepted by others. So, we need to be confident in what we, as born again Christians, believe. Then, be bold and courageous as we base decisions on those beliefs, and, at times, even take a stand publicly for what we believe. 

As a result we will be misunderstood and often need to stand alone – lonely for the right reasons. 

Remember: Be willing to be misunderstood and lonely for the right reasons

These five basic quality decisions will take each and every believer a long way in life – a life that will benefit others and leave the world a different place than it was when you were born into it.