Romans 14:8 If we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.
Upon entering Wheaton Grad School I was aware that I had the potential to do really well. Mediocrity was no longer acceptable but I was also aware that I had never been a great student – my study habits had to change. It’s one thing to think about becoming a good student. It’s another to actually become one. The Lord didn’t leave me to my own devices – He gave me a life changing idea and the motivation to implement it.
I needed to hold myself accountable for how much time I actually studied outside of class. This resulted in the creation of my ‘Accountability Book’. I tracked down to five minute blocks of time how much I actually studied, and I was ruthless with myself. I remember going to the library to study for the morning. My thoughts were I would study for four hours from 8:00 until 12:00. The reality was a bit different. After taking time out for getting coffee in the union, talking with friends, checking my mail, going to chapel, etc… instead of four hours of study, it was 1 hour and 40 minutes!
The lesson of the Accountability Book was if I put in the time to genuinely study, I got ‘A’s. This led to the realization that my focus wasn’t to be on getting ‘A’s but upon the ‘process’ of studying – mastery of what I needed to learn. This led to the liberating realization that right process produces right results.
Inherent in this is recognizing that we have a lot to learn and the importance of always being teachable. Whether it’s learning a job, learning to be a spouse or a parent – or learning to do these roles better – we have invaluable resources to help us achieve quality. First and foremost is our Lord who is intimately involved in our lives. He will show us where we need to improve. In addition, we have Scriptures, books, mentor/coaches, pastoral teams, Christian friends, bosses, co-workers, etc… as valuable resources.
We must recognize that being a good parent, a good spouse, good worker, etc… is consistent with (and required by) our faith. He enables us to recognize our shortcomings and become better at these things than we currently are. Never be too proud to ask for help. Our Lord wants quality in all of the roles we find ourselves in. He doesn’t separate the sacred and the secular.
Our life in Christ transforms us so that we are able to glorify Him and must glorify Him with ever-improving quality in everything we do. This is what living to the Lord is all about. Beginning today, wherever we find ourselves, Jesus has a redemptive path that will enable us to do just that.