Summary: Examines the pull between our bodies, which crave comfort and stability, and our spirits which require risk and adventure in order to thrive.
Life’s Too Short To…Play It Safe, prt. 2
Part 2 of series, “Life’s Too Short To…”
Wildwind Community Church
Last week we launched a new series called Life’s Too Short To… We began with the fact of the brevity of life – how recognition of the brevity of life is the thing that brings the perspective we need in order to make the most of it. It’s hard to squander our time when we realize how quickly it is passing. Indeed that’s the Biblical command we have been given, to make the most of this time:
Ephesians 5:15-16 (NIV)
15 Be very careful, then, how you live--not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.
But something stands in the way of us making the most of our time, and that is the fact that there is a part of us – our bodies – the physical part of us – that has very different priorities than our spirits have. A commitment to make the most of every opportunity, you see, necessarily brings with it moments of insecurity, instability, perhaps even fear and various kinds of discomfort. Stepping out to grab the moment – carpe diem – seize the day – isn’t always easy. In fact it USUALLY isn’t easy. Remember what I told you last week, that our bodies basically seek comfort (feeling good), convenience (going for whatever is easy), and costless-ness (wanting to get everything without paying a price, especially if the cost is a little of our comfort or convenience.
But our spirits want to really live, not just get by – our spirits need to capture each moment and make it into something. That desire is expressed in the need of our spirits for four basic things.
First is passion and we talked about that last week – the desire to feel deeply about something. Today we’ll look at the last three needs of our spirits: prudence, permanence, and purpose. Remember, we’re talking about how life’s too short to play it safe, and how our bodies fundamentally encourage safe behavior and squash risk-taking, and our spirits fundamentally need to step out, take risks, and live on the edge of what God has planned for us.
We’ve already looked at passion, next is prudence. Now what I mean here is the opposite of what many think when they hear this word. Prudence simply means wisdom, doing what is wise. Yes, I believe your spirit has the need to experience adventure, to step out and take risks in order to become all God meant for you to be. But that doesn’t mean we should completely abandon all wisdom. Our bodies lead us to believe that wisdom means avoiding risks – playing it safe. But that is not a Biblical understanding of wisdom and prudence. Remember what we looked at earlier?
Ephesians 5:15-17 (NIV)
15 Be very careful, then, how you live--not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.
Here we see that living wisely, in God’s way of seeing things, means taking risks – means a rejection of the playing-it-safe lifestyle – means appreciating the time we have and making the most of it, but doing so within the guidelines of what God wants for our lives. Notice this passage says we are not to be foolish. In other words we should not assume that just because something scares us or makes us uncomfortable it must be what God would have us do, nor should we cast off the often healthy signals fear can send to us and become a moral code onto ourselves. But certainly it means that we must no longer allow our need for comfort, convenience, and costless-ness to set the limits for what God would have us venture into.
2 Corinthians 5:7 (ASV)
7 (for we walk by faith, not by sight);
This spiritual need for prudence is simply a need we have in the deepest part of us to live by a code – to have something guiding us and informing our decisions. Again I want you to notice that if we ignore God as the standard of prudence (the code) in our lives, we will simply exalt ourselves in His place. God’s desires for us will get stuffed, and our bodies will adopt as their code the meeting of whatever whims our bodies put in our path.
2 Peter 2:19 (GW)
19 They promise these people freedom, but they themselves are slaves to corruption. A person is a slave to whatever he gives in to.
Romans 6:16 (NLT)
16 Don’t you realize that whatever you choose to obey becomes your master? You can choose sin, which leads to death, or you can choose to obey God and receive his approval.