How to Revise Your Life's Script
- Whitney Hopler Crosswalk.com Contributing Writer
- 2011 15 May
Editor's Note: The following is a report on the practical applications of Frank Viola's recent book, Revise Us Again: Living from a Renewed Christian Spirit, (David C. Cook, 2010).
The words and actions you choose are like the dialogue and plot of a script that represents your life. But what kind of show does God see when He watches you make decisions?
Too often, the life script you’re using reflects influences that don’t match the intentions of God, the Author of life. So it’s worthwhile to regularly evaluate the script you’re living by, and revise it whenever you notice that it can better reflect the life God wants you to live.
Here’s how you can revise your life’s script:
Revise your assumptions about God’s will. Don’t assume that God is speaking to you definitively about any matter involving other people, and then announce to other people that God told you what to tell them about it. You must tread carefully when it comes to God’s will, humbly acknowledging that you could always misinterpret God’s messages. Keep in mind, too, that there are different ways of interpreting God’s messages, such as by asking: “Is this biblical?”, “Is this right?”, “What is God saying to us right now?”, “How is God leading us right now?”, “How will our current actions affect the future?” and “Is this decision wise or foolish?” Whatever your conclusion, remember that you – not God – are ultimately responsible for what you choose to say to others.
Revise Christian code language. Too often, Christians will respond to people’s requests by saying “Let me pray about it,” when what they really mean is “no.” If you don’t want to do something, just be honest and direct with the person who has asked you to do it. He or she will appreciate your integrity.
Revise your conversational style. When talking to others, keep in mind that Christians from different denominational backgrounds often have different perspectives on spiritual conversations. Some focus most on what they sense the Holy Spirit saying to them, some focus most on what the Bible says, and some focus most on what’s working best practically in their lives. Understanding the differences will help you communicate better.
Revise your message. Keep the Gospel at the core of the messages you communicate to people you’re trying to reach for Christ. Simply present the Gospel message of what Jesus has done to save people, in ways that each person with whom you develop a friendship can best relate to and understand. Focusing on the Gospel is much more important than any innovative strategies or programs you may use to try to draw people into relationships with Jesus.
Revise your awareness of God. Sometimes Christians mistakenly say that they need to seek God’s presence, when God is actually with them at all times and in all places. Rather than seeking God through some special situation, you simply need to become more aware of His presence that is already with you by turning your attention to Him often and connecting with Him through frequent prayer.
Revise your attitudes. Christians who aren’t staying close to enough to Jesus to refuel often with His love can fail to love others as He wants them to, which makes them vulnerable to being captured by the same spirit of evil that they oppose. Guard against behaviors such as judging other people’s motives, excluding some Christians from fellowship because of different personal opinions, viewing your contribution to Jesus’ kingdom as if it was more important than Jesus Himself, refusing to live with diversity among Christians, and believing that you’re most righteous and holy than other Christians. Ask the Holy Spirit to empower you every day to stay close to Jesus so His love will genuinely flow through you into other people’s lives.
Revise your spiritual expectations. Don’t expect that God will do everything you’d like Him to do for you. Accept the fact the fact that sometimes God will do what you expect, and sometimes He won’t, because His perspective is different from yours and He knows what’s best for you better than you do. Choose to trust in God’s wisdom. When you’re going through suffering, remember that God will bring good purposes out of it if you trust Him to do so. Remember, too, that God doesn’t owe you anything, and all you have is a gift from Him. So make a habit of thanking God for your blessings often.
Revise the Holy Spirit’s ministry. Christians can make lots of different claims about what it means to be filled with the Holy Spirit, but what’s most important to understand is that the Holy Spirit leads people to make their relationships with Jesus their highest priority in life. Spirit-filled people then naturally exhibit marks of Jesus character, such as honesty, kindness, and a welcoming love for all of God’s children.
Revise your chief pursuit. Recognize that nothing is more important in life than pursuing a closer relationship with Jesus, in which you’re constantly growing to become more like the person He wants you to become. You can tell that you’re really growing closer to Jesus when He grows bigger in your eyes – as you learn more about how awesome He really is, and how He works in bigger ways than you’d previously imagined. If your perspective on Jesus is too small, revise your life so that you can open your soul up to Him more, and you’ll grow in the process.
Adapted from Revise Us Again: Living from a Renewed Christian Spirit, copyright 2010 by Frank Viola. Published by David C. Cook, Colorado Springs, Co., www.davidccook.com.
Frank Viola is an internationally renowned speaker and author. He is a leading voice of the house church movement, a group of believers that seeks to reconnect with the original model of Christian fellowship. Frank lives with his family in Gainesville, Florida. You can visit Frank’s website at: www.FrankViola.com.
Whitney Hopler is a freelance writer and editor who serves as both a Crosswalk.com contributing writer and the editor of About.com’s site on angels and miracles (http://angels.about.com/). Whitney also blogs about writing and editing on her website: http://whitneyhopler.naiwe.com/. You can contact Whitney at: firstname.lastname@example.org to comment on her stories or send in one of your own.
Publication date: May 15, 2011