James 3:13 “Do you want to be counted wise, to build a reputation for wisdom? Here’s what to do: live well, live wisely, live humbly. It’s the way you live , not the way you talk that counts.”
By Nikki Bray
Got me thinking …. What is it to live well, wisely and humbly…. What does it look like? At the beginning of a new year (I know it’s March nearly J) it’s good to ask these questions both personally and professionally. You’ve probably heard the saying “if you always do what you’ve always done then you’ll always get what you’ve always got”…. So it’s a good time to evaluate our lives, the direction we’re taking and seek God in how we can each step up at home and in the work place.
I’m not naturally a goal setter but God continues to remind me that planning and setting goals is a key factor for living well and living wisely. One thing that’s really helped me is a planning retreat. Every year, generally late January, Andy and I go away and work through a work book that we put together called “first things first” – it’s really just a series of questions around our family, our marriage, ministry, finances, health and friends. We discuss where God is directing us to spend our time and resources, how we can do things better as a couple, what pressing issues we’re needing to address with our children. We set personal goals around these areas and diarise action points, and basically come away with what Steven Covey calls a “flight plan” to navigate our year.
We diary in a year ahead…when we’ll catch up with our parents, which friends we’ll invest time with, date nights with our kids and one another, life skills we need to teach the kids, weekends away to have down time.
Having a flight plan ensures that we stay committed to what we believe are important, where we believe God is calling us, rather than allowing others to dictate our lives. I love that line “God loves you and everyone else has a wonderful plan for your life.”
I know that we plan at work and have mission statements, but we hardly ever plan our home and family lives, or have a family mission statement. As a wife and a Mum I really appreciate Andy’s leadership in this area…. I feel so empowered and enthusiastic for the coming year when we have a common flight plan that we’re living to, and it sure helps overcome the new year blues as work and school commitments begin again.
Obviously we’ve all discovered that God interrupts our lives often. In proverbs it says that man makes his plans but God directs his steps; life is unpredictable and our flight plans are often interrupted, but the beauty of a flight plan is that it enables you to get back on course. It has certainly done that for us when we’ve faced our trials.
The last line of James 3:13 sums it up well… “it’s the way you live, not the way you talk that counts”………And living our lives well is a great witness to people.