February 18, 2014
Life Changing Words
By John Scully
Have you kept your new year’s resolution?
Perhaps, like most people, you have not.
Or maybe you never made one.
For many of us we make resolutions and fail, or we fail to make resolutions.
In either case it may be because we know we cannot keep up the promises we make to ourselves.
We want to be better people, but often we lack the ability to carry through with our intentions.
A coworker reminded me that years ago every Christian Aid staff person was given the opportunity to speak at our weekly meetings on his or her birthday.
I took the challenge, and for several years I testified about one theme or another that I chose for the previous year, and how it worked out for me.
For example, one year my motivational phrase was, “Spend More Time Outdoors.” My wife and I turned to camping and hiking. We looked forward to a day hike in the mountains nearby, or a weekend camping trip to a state park. All year long we focused on an outdoor activity nearly every weekend.
When I chose, “No meats and sweets” I discovered the value and health benefit of wide variety of vegetables, legumes like lentils and beans, brown rice and other grains, seeds, nuts and fruit.
Another year, after admitting that my busy life interfered with my spiritual growth, I took up the slogan “Every day in the Bible,” motivating me to read, study, and memorize.
Along these same lines, someone wrote a book called, “One Word That Will Change Your Life.” The authors believe that if a person chooses a single word, focuses on it and lives by it, “… life will become more rewarding and exciting than ever.”
I think this works because our motivation comes from within, rather than trying to follow a list of do’s and don’ts.
When we were reborn as Christians, we believed the Word of God and it became a part of our inner being, changing the way we think and do things.
One word made the difference.
My thoughts turned to native missionaries, who go out day after day, in difficult places, where persecution may occur, where opposition rises up suddenly.
It’s not easy for them. They go without much support.
They don’t own cars. Maybe a bicycle. Often they walk.
They preach on dirt covered street corners with a simple loudspeaker. They hold evening evangelistic meetings, with a small generator to light up the space under a tent covering. They carry on with gospel work day after day under these conditions.
I imagine there is one word that motivates them.
They are passionate about sharing the love of Christ with their own people. They know exactly how hard life can be in a third world country, because they live right in the midst of it. But they found hope in Christ and passion burns within them to share this good news as long as God gives them breath.
They are effective, but they need God’s protection.
May I suggest one word to help them?