“What’s your story going to be?” is one of the key questions we put toward our boys or that John and I put forward to each other when we are in the middle of making a decision or dealing with a perplexing situation.
We want our family to consider the attitudes, behaviors and outcomes that may result from what we choose or choose not to do. We want our boys to understand that the decisions they make have the potential to create a good story that they may tell one day. However, by incorporating the same line of thinking, their attitudes, thoughts, and actions also have the potential to lead to poor decisions that may lead to difficult and painful consequences.
Every life experience offers a learning experience.
And it is true, the lessons we gain from difficult and challenging circumstances often mold and shape our character in unique and purposeful ways. However, if we have been equipped with knowledge, discernment, and prudence, we have the ability to make decisions that protect us.
Paul challenged the Philippian church to be wise and prudent in their ways. He wrote, “All of us who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you. Only let us live up to what we have already attained” (NIV, Philippians 3:15-16).
Maturity is a safeguard.
Are we seeking maturity?
To be mature, according to Paul’s words, means to be complete, to reach the end of one’s purpose and aim in life. In my mind, I certainly have reached some level of maturity in Christ in my life, but I’m certainly not done yet!
Paul acknowledges that. We are still working things out in our walk with Christ. I know I am. When different questions, thoughts, and decisions surface in life; my God promises to reveal new truths and new insights to me in His time in His purposeful way. As I wait, pray and seek Him for discernment and understanding, God’s enlightenment will come.
It may not always be easy to wait. However, being impatient or impulsive or believing that I know what is best or what is right, never works out for me. When I do that, I take a step backwards. You see, I know better. I have a level of maturity in Christ that holds me accountable to my God and to His way.
The story I want to tell in my life is that I was faithful to my God to the end.
I’ve attained a certain amount of experience, joy, love, loyalty and faith in Christ that compels me to keep trusting and to keep walking with Him. I want to keep up that effort, resolve and devotion.
I don’t want to take a step backwards because of pride. I don’t want to tell a story one day that my pride led to my self-destruction.
I don’t want to get stuck in a murky pit of self-assurance. I don’t want to tell a story one day that I was so sure of myself that I failed my family.
I don’t want to descend into doubt and despair. I don’t want to tell a story one day that I doubted God’s goodness in my life and chose to distrust Him.
I don’t want miss out on a great opportunity because I was afraid. I don’t want to tell a story one day that I was too frightened to set foot on an adventurous trail.
I don’t want to become lost in a fog of disbelief. I don’t want to tell a story one day that I stopped believing in Christ and this decision took me in a direction I never wanted to go.
I’ve come too far with Christ. For me, I desire to press on with the power of the Holy Spirit and the grace, love and mercy of Christ. The benefits of developing, maintaining and continuing to strive for maturity in Christ help me tell a good story.
You see, I want to be able to tell a good story about what’s already happened in my life, what is happening now and what will happen in the future. At the end of my days, when my aim and purpose is complete, I want to look back and be able to share with anyone who asks and/or is willing to listen about the amazing goodness, loving fellowship, and confident assurance I experienced with my Lord and Savior. In order to reach that goal and prize, I want to do as Paul exhorts and “live up to what I have already attained” in Christ.
In order to tell a good story, I want to live a good story. This is what I want for my husband and children too…actually everyone I know and love. What about you? What story do you want to tell?