It’s 2006, a new year, the time when we naturally turn inward, reflect on our past and resolve to change for the future. Those resolutions then usually take the form of two or three goals that we set to accomplish or habits that we seek to build into our lives over the coming 365 days. This year I didn’t want to do that. Instead, I wanted to break down my life into its respective parts in order to establish values and then set reasonable goals that will enable me to live out those values. My desire is to move from the most fundamental areas and build upon those in order to form something of a personal treatise. I post it here because I realize that I am often myopic and I need the input of others. I also hope that this, in a small way, may serve as an inspiration to others.
1. I am a human being. This is the most fundamental aspect of my being. All other activities of my life are built upon this truth. I have body that has physical needs. If I neglect these needs I will pay the consequences of that neglect in both long and short term ways. Some of those needs are:
- Adequate rest
- Proper diet
- Physical activity
- Mental stimulation
In order to meet these needs I plan to:
- Get a proper night’s rest, by establishing a pattern to my day and blocking out adequate time in order to allow my body to get the sleep that it needs.
- Eat a balanced diet, with an emphasis on foods that will give me the energy to accomplish my daily activities, especially fruits and vegetables.
- Commit myself to planned, intentional physical activity that will enable me to stay fit and healthy throughout my life.
- Determine to choose my leisure activities with an aim to stimulate my mind be it in learning a new skill or information through whatever medium I choose and to resolve to never stop learning.
2. I am a child of God. I was created by my loving heavenly father, first to have a relationship with him and to live my life in light of that relationship. Because of this I commit to:
- Conversing daily with my Father that I might hear his voice and know his direction throughout my day.
- Reading and studying his written will for all of his children, the bible, and establishing this as the basis of my thought and activity.
- Investigating and practicing the spiritual disciplines in order to gain new insight and achieve balance in my relationship with God.
- Allowing my life, my relationships, my family, and my career to be directed by the above habits.
3. I am a sinner redeemed by Christ through the price that he paid on the cross. His purchase has freed me from the bondage of sin which leads to death and has conscripted me into his service, the work of life. His goals are my goals, his aims are my aims. Therefore:
- Soulwinning is not an option, it is an activity that flows naturally out of my debt of love to Christ
- I am a part of Christ’s body, and therefore my life is available to all who make up his body. Their needs are my needs as well.
- As part of Christ’s body my life is open to the input and correction of others as they are charged with the building up of the believers who make up this body. I have a responsibility to speak into the lives of others as l am lead by Christ.
- I have a responsibility to pray for my fellow believers, that through Christ’s body, God’s love might be shown to the world.
4. I am a husband. I have made a commitment of love to Kelly, my wife, to protect, love, cherish, and to be completely faithful to her in thought, word, and deed. Therefore I commit to:
- Becoming a student of my wife, finding out everything I can about her, the things that she likes and dislikes and the way in which she feels love, and live out my relationship with her in light of this information, seeking her best above my own.
- Becoming her companion in all aspects of life physical, mental, and spiritual.
- Being accountable to her in my thoughts and actions each day.
- Praying for her and with her as I pray for no other that Christ would meet her every need.
5. I am a father. I have three children who need me in order show them tangible love in the ways that they can understand so that they can live secure stable lives now, and to pattern my actions with them in order to help them grow into adults who love God and people, have a sense of worth and purpose, and seek to use their lives as a tool to serve God and others. Therefore:
- I commit to spending time with each of them in order to know them and their needs.
- I resolve to respond to their needs appropriately to nurture, to protect, and to teach them.
- I commit to persevere with each one of them in every circumstance of their lives regardless of the situation.
- I resolve to pray for them that Christ would guide their lives and overcome my limitations as a parent.
6. I am a relative and a friend. There are people in my life that are attached to me beyond my immediate nuclear family. They are a part of my life and I am responsible to them. Therefore I commit to:
- Staying in contact with them on a regular basis.
- Celebrating with them their important days and accomplishments.
- Being available to them as they have need.
- Praying for them and believing for God’s best for their lives.
7. I am a missionary. I have a divine call upon my life to a specific people group, sent by ministry partners to live among this people group, speaking their language and participating in their culture, through the power and direction of the Holy Spirit, so that I might influence some for Christ, introduce some to him, disciple some in the way of life, and partner with some in ushering in the kingdom of God among them. Therefore I resolve to:
- Becoming a student of the language and the culture of my host culture, knowing that without an understanding of these items, I will never gain entrance into their lives or their hearts.
- Allowing the culture to influence the method but not the message of my ministry, striving to prevent my North American mindset from creating roadblocks to what Christ would want said or done.
- Developing real relationships with the people of my host culture, as relationship is the foundation for sharing the message of Christ.
- Committing myself to excellence in ministry by doing all things as unto Christ and constantly learning and applying new tools for more effective ministry.
- Praying for my host culture that Christ might multiply and work beyond my methods that the culture might truly be effected by the gospel.
- Committing myself to a positive relationship to my ministry partners, both churches and individuals, being sure to communicate both my activities and my thankfulness for their partnership, praying for God’s best for them, and being available to them as they have need or desire to speak into our lives.