This is a simple thought – one I wish I had greater depth on, but one that is challenging nonetheless. I live my life and make most of my major decisions using the F-word.
I’m pretty sure you do, too. Granted, which F-word you and I use may differ.
One of the leaders in my church recently chatted with me about a decision we’d made about a particular ministry. He felt great about it, but I didn’t. The more we talked about it, the more I realized we were working off of different F-words.
In fact, there are more than two F-words that may be determining your decisions today:
- Faith: This is obviously God’s ideal – that we would become people who see what can’t be visibly seen, especially in regard to the Kingdom of God. May you today put yourself on the line for the sake of what matters most, believing it before you see it so that others can see it through you believing in it.
- Fear: Like faith, fear is an extreme stance – but instead of believing the absolute best can happen, fear assumes that the absolute worst can happen. It’s living life out of our insecurities instead of truly see situations and people objectively.
- Friendships: Think about how many major decisions in culture and theology these days stem from the concept, “I have a friend who…” – a friendship can cause us to see something with great subjectivity that actually requires objectivity.
- Family: Ever known someone who quit church or something else significant because of tensions at home? Our family can drive us forward or backward, and often take the place of the voice of God in our lives. By all means, we are to love our family – but we love them best when we love God first. Otherwise, we cause chaos outside of our homes in order to avoid chaos at home.
- Frustration: Frustrations are real, but what we’re frustrated about isn’t always real. If you’ve let something build up over time, you may cry out for a change when one isn’t actually needed… you may see things in other people that aren’t necessarily who they are.
- Fatigue: This just may be the most common F-word, for when we are tired we can’t make sense out of even things that make sense. Galatians 6:9 says, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” That implies we have to choose not to become weary and structure our lives accordingly… some people do this through strict boundaries that ironically end up becoming a life-draining legalism. My sense is it may be less about what we say no to and more about what we say yes to.
and I hope you know which one I mean.
What really grinds me as a leader/parent/Christian is when I pick the wrong F-word that it might come across as… well… “the F-word.”
How has this played out for you?
What else would you add to the list?
– Tony / @tonymyles