A few weeks ago I caught just the tail end of a radio interview. I don't know who was talking, but it was about managing finances and getting out of debt. I heard the interviewee say that he and his wife had purposed to live differently, and it was this conviction that helped them get out of debt. He described the difficulties, and sacrifices they made and said, "You know, when you decide you're gonna' live differently, then you're gonna' live different, you're not going to do things the same way, and you won't look like everybody else."
This idea has been rattling around in my brain ever since. It's an idea that covers much more than just the financial realm of our lives. We do, in our family, purpose to live differently. To live in this world, but to be motivated differently, and make decisions differently. Hopefully our speech and the way we treat each other sounds different. The way we make and spend money may look different. In our management of time we strive to be different.
Over and over in the New Testament, it is made clear that we are to live here in this world, be engaged here in this world (in other words, we aren't supposed to create little worlds of our own, isolated from others--that Fundamentalist Mormon commune in Texas comes to mind) but we aren't to be overcome by the world and worldly ways. Tricky business, it is. When people talk about changed lives, and transformation, this is it. Living differently.
I guess it goes back to the idea of intentionality. Recognizing that with each action or inaction, we are making choices that are leading us closer to or farther away from worldly ways. So our thoughts about it are important. Using our minds and being aware of what we're doing helps us be different. But when we are followers of Christ and accept His salvation, we also have a resource to help us in our endeavors--the Holy Spirit. So there's more to it than just being intentional. We also must surrender our selves, and seek the help that God has given us.
Just thought I'd spill the rattling contents of my brain out...
How do you live differently?