Friday, November 12, 2010

Life Seasonings - Ten Principles I live by

I mentioned in my last post that I will upload a series of articles I wrote for DUMC's Floodgates on the Ten Principles I live by. These are the principles I realized I consistently apply and guided me in the many decisions I have to make in the last 50 years of my life. Here it goes with the introductory and thereafter, it will be a principle at a time. These are the unedited version of my articles before it went to the editor. Happy reading!


If ever there’s a book I would like to write, I would title it “Life’s Seasoning”.  Life itself is our best teacher, guided and directed by the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit and the Word of God, the Bible. Just the mere fact of living life, is a privilege to be savored and relished. Some lived it well, others wasted it and most I think lived it mediocrely. If only we would learn to respond wisely and react less to life’s circumstances, we could have emerged less scathed and stronger in character. Pains and sufferings are as much part of life as are blessings and prosperity. There are no guarantees to either, yet we can respond wisely to whatever comes our way. Being in blessings is no more spiritual than being in pain. What matter most is how we have lived life the best that we can. God doesn’t hold us accountable to those things that we don’t have or having a responsibility for. He only holds us to that which we have control over.

Lately, I have been asking myself, if I could list down ten things (or principles) by which I lived my life by, things which I feel passionately about and would dedicate not to just live by them but to teach and model to others to do the same, what would that ten things be? This led me hours of writing down in raw forms what these statements are, fine-tuning and finally selecting these ten things. They are by no means exhaustive of all that God had taught me and learnt through life’s experiences. But these will be, as of now, what are most important to me.

I will list these ten things here in this article and from here on in the next five articles following this, I will elaborate what they mean. Some may be repetitive from previous articles that I have written but hopefully presented in a different and fresh perspective. Here it goes:

1.         It’s my fault (Taking personal responsibility)
2.         Marry your best friend (Till the day you die)
3.         Have Peace (Will it matter in a thousand years?)
4.         Make time for people (Leave them better than when you found them)
5.         Have a good sense of humor (Learn to laugh)
6.         Grow well and deep (Be like an oak tree)
7.         Walk in freedom (Walk light)
8.         Life is short (Don’t waste it)
9.         Rooftop principle (Don’t even go there)
10.     Reflect often (Make many pit stops)

There you have it. Most of these phrases are in themselves self-explanatory. The key challenge I have for you here is, are you able to write down what’s important for you and are you prepared to live by them? Just this morning, I was in conversation with a brother who has taken quite a beating in his career for the last twelve years. Job after job lasted only about two years or less. His key reason for not staying long in these jobs is simply his desire to stay true to his moral conviction and ethical stand in his business dealings. With tears welling in his eyes as he related them, I could not comfort him with a reason why he had to go through all these. Or why God has not vindicated him or provided a way out. Or I could tell him he made bad decisions about the company he is joining. As I feel for the brother and the pain he is going through, all I could say at the end of it is simply this: “You have passed the character test, brother, and you have honored the Lord.” I could see how this affirmation encouraged him in spite of what he is going through. What does this mean for him? That “blessing and prosperity” will be with him from here on if he applied the right formula? No one can guarantee that. In fact, that would be plain self-centeredness if we go by the adage that when we do something for God, He will do something for us. The emphasis is on self and not God, and we are in the danger of becoming a consumeristic driven religion. But what if God didn’t answer the way we wanted Him too. Is God any less? That’s where our values and understanding of God comes in. Are our convictions dependent on circumstances or are they God dependent? But one thing I know for certain for this brother. He can sleep well every night from here on because he does not only know the truth, he lived it out as well. Such is the power of a clear conscience and a life of integrity.

How about you? What are your ten things that you live by?

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