Become Fully Alive
- Monday, November 08, 2010
Editor's Note: The following is a report on the practical applications of Dick Staub's recent book, About You: Fully Human, Fully Alive, (Jossey-Bass, 2010).
Are you living with a sense that something's missing in your life? If you so, you may be settling for less than the best God wants for you. The only way you can truly find fulfillment is by living up to your fullest potential - to be fully alive, and fully human - the way God intends for you to live.
Jesus, who was both fully God and fully human, lived that kind of life. He stands ready to help you become the best version of yourself. Here's how you can join Him on that journey:
Recognize how God has made you in His image. You're creative because God is creative; you communicate because God communicates; you're intelligent because God is intelligent; you're relational because God is relational; and you're morally responsible because God is a moral being. Decide to do all you can to develop and express those qualities in distinctive ways, according to how God has uniquely designed you.
Appreciate how other people reflect God's image. Ask God to help you see other people as He sees them so you can recognize their value and appreciate the unique contributions that they make to the world - whether or not society values them. Notice how even people who are forgotten or mistreated in society, such as disabled people or addicts, have the same great value in God's eyes as everyone else does. Reach out to others with encouragement and support to help them reach their fullest potential while you're working to reach your own full potential, since together you all can improve the world in bigger ways than you could just by yourself.
Realize that a connection to God through Jesus is what humanizes you. If the intimacy that you were created to enjoy with God is broken through sin, you can drift away from Him. The farther you drift away from God, the more prone you become to behaviors that dehumanize you by violating the essence of who you are. But Jesus came to give you a complete and fulfilling life by restoring your intimacy with God.
Seek God and nurture your soul in a materialistic age. Many people in our society are preoccupied with earning and spending money. But God calls you to seek Him first and trust Him to meet all of your material needs. So make it your first priority to pursue God than you do to pursuing money.
Nurture your mind in a mindless age. Even though some people are content to be entertained in life without seeking to keep learning, God wants you to cultivate the mind He gave you by continuing to learn something new every day.
Pursue creativity and excellence in a superficial, expendable age. Our society doesn't demand or even expect that people use their creativity to produce excellent work, but God wants you to blaze new trails to help make the world a better place.
Go relationally deep in an age of shallow relationships. Many people substitute shallow relationships they have with people they connect with in the virtual, digital world of technology for real, in-person relationships. But God calls you to spend time with people in person to build relationships that can truly go deep, helping you and them grow closer to God together.
Love, forgive, and accept others in an age of anger, rejection, and revenge. Society celebrates selfish interests that lead to a destructive cycle of wounds and bitterness, that then cause anger, rejection, and revenge. But God wants to pour out His healing love through your life, so answer His call to love, forgive, and accept other people.
Embrace certainty in a relativistic age. Attitudes of moral and intellectual relativism are commonplace throughout our society today, but God has revealed absolute truth through the Bible, and He wants you to choose to embrace that truth, even when others around you are falling victim to misguided, relativistic philosophies.
Slow down in a frantic age. Life often moves at too fast a pace in our society to be healthy. God wants you to rediscover the proper rhythm of life, living free of the burden of hurry.
Value everyone in a segmented age. Our society segments people in many ways, such as by gender, race, age, nationality, education, and income. But God calls you to look for His image in the face of everyone you meet.
Come to your senses. Acknowledge the reality of sin in your life that is limiting you and and afflicting you with the brokenness that's causing you to feel incomplete. Then let that awakening motivate you to turn to Jesus, who can restore you to a healthy condition and empower you to live a fulfilling life. Keep pursuing Jesus persistently, learning more and growing closer to Him every day. Communicate with Him often through prayer and open your heart to follow where He leads you as He restores your soul.
Ask Jesus to give you a pure heart. Pray for the ability to devote yourself to God and invite His love to flow through you to other people.
Ask Jesus to renew your mind. Pray for the ability to develop your mental capacity to its fullest and keep learning every new day that you're alive.
Ask Jesus to give you a new spirit. Pray for the ability to develop your spiritual capacity to its fullest. Cultivate it through such spiritual disciplines as worship, prayer, Bible reading, meditation, solitude, silence, and fasting.
Ask Jesus to rebuild your relationships. Pray for the ability to heal the broken relationships in your life by loving, forgiving, and accepting other people.
Ask Jesus to rekindle your creativity. Pray for the ability to identify, develop, and express the talents that God has given you to help make the world a better place.
Ask Jesus to help you live harmoniously. Pray for the ability to become the complete, whole person God created you to be, pulling together the different aspects of your life into a harmonious lifestyle that is faithful to Him throughout your daily life.
Ask Jesus to keep you focused on God's purposes for your life. Pray for the ability to keep working toward fulfilling God's purposes for you. Respond to His calls to serve others, and expect that, as you do, God will keep increasing your capacity to love.
Adapted from About You: Fully Human, Fully Alive, copyright 2010 by Dick Staub. Published by Jossey-Bass, an imprint of John Wiley & Sons, Inc., San Francisco, Ca., www.josseybass.com.
Dick Staub is an award-winning broadcaster, writer, and speaker who is fascinated with today's spiritual quest, so often disconnected from organized religion. He is the host of The Kindlings Muse podcast, an intelligent, imaginative, hospitable exploration of ideas, sparked by our shared experiences in art, movies, books, and music (www.TheKindlings.com). He is also the author of Christian Wisdom of the Jedi Masters, The Culturally Savvy Christian (both from Jossey-Bass) and Too Christian, Too Pagan.
Publication date: November 8, 2010
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