4 Questions To Consider When Life Is Stagnant
Some version of the American dream has been pressed upon us from the time we were barely able to crawl. Get married, have 2.5 kids, climb the corporate ladder in your comfortable split level with the white picket fence. The thing is, most of our spiritual and personal growth doesn’t happen in the 9-5, it happens when we take time to slow down and evaluate why we are even here, and what the purpose of pursuing a paycheck is anyway. Do you feel like you’re just drifting through life, collecting milestones until God calls you up yonder? Or maybe you feel like this is not the life you thought you’d have when you left home and spread your wings. Let me encourage you today, that it’s not too late to find true contentment and purpose. Here are a few questions to get you started:
1. Who do you think God is?
The kind of God we worship will determine the kind of people we become. – Jerry Sittser
We all project our own fears and insecurities onto our image of God. If we think God is angry, chances are we will become irritable, if not hostile people. If we think God doesn’t care about the intimate details of our lives, we will become callous to the small things. As I sit here and think about this question in my own life, I know that my default image of God is a judgmental God, who lays on the guilt and shame, and whom I can never please. As a result, I tend to be over critical of myself, and of others in my life. It is an uphill battle to remind myself of scripture, and to seek the truth of God’s character – that is, He is a just God to be sure, but also a God full of mercy and grace. Most importantly, it is true that I alone do not measure up, but I am covered by Christ’s blood, and I no longer have to carry around the burden of shame. So who is God to you? How does that align with the picture we are given in the Bible?
2. Who am I becoming?
This question can be a game changer, if you let it. Who you are becoming isn’t about the future, it’s about the present. What choices are you making right now, today, that are forming your habits? We all have those big moments in life that we feel are shaping us – accepting that first career job, getting married, having children, going on a missions trip, etc. But the truth is that the little decisions we make prepare us for those big decisions down the road. So take some time to evaluate where you’re at right now. Do you hear yourself often saying, “Oh, tomorrow I’ll start eating better/getting more sleep/reading my Bible/calling my mom more often/fill in the blank?” Start being the person you want to be, the person God called you to be, right now. Ever since I can remember, I’ve wanted to be a writer. #1 on my bucket list is to be a published author. I was reminded recently that a writer is not defined by having a published novel – a writer is someone who writes, day in and day out, honing their craft, rising to the challenge, and observing their world. Simple as that. Who do you want to be? What are you doing today to get there?
3. Did Jesus really mean what He said?
Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. – Matthew 6:24
Of course no one is going to say “no” to this, at least on the surface. But, do we live like Jesus’ words matter? Take this one simple verse found in Matthew 6. It seems pretty straightforward, right? Jesus said, “Don’t worry.” Well, dang it. I worry all the time. I worry about how much I shouldn’t be worrying. But we need to stop looking at Jesus’ words as advice from this person who doesn’t even know us, and start looking at them as truths spoken from the mouth of someone who loves us enough to endure death on a cross so that we could spend eternity in heaven.
4. How am I using my skills to serve?
Our mission here on earth is pretty straightforward: go and make disciples (Matthew 28:19). Jesus was the ultimate example of disciple-making, and His ministry was all about serving others, putting their needs above His own, even in death. I think most people don’t realize how God has gifted them, or if they do, they spend most of their time using that skill selfishly, instead of finding true fulfillment by pouring it into the lives of those around them. Some of us have obvious talents – athleticism, musical gifts, leadership skills, etc. Others of us have more subtle talents, such as encouragement, or truth telling, hospitality, generosity, and even peace keeping. The world may not praise us for a kind and timely word, but to that one person, it could change their life. And then there are those rare individuals who really don’t want the praise at all, they simply find fulfillment in working behind the scenes.
Want help figuring out what your talents are? Need some guidance on becoming the kind of person God has for you? Get connected with a community of believers! Ask questions, read scripture, grow in your faith. Find out more!