Are you a list maker? Boy I sure am. I have lists for my lists; sticky notes for my sticky notes. Ever make your extensive grocery list, get to the store and it’s not in your purse? That’s when I pray to God for total recall which doesn’t come and I end up buying yet another bottle of catsup and maple syrup! How many bottles of ranch dressing does one family need?
We make to do lists, Christmas lists, birthday lists, list our goals, list pros and cons of major life decisions, baby name lists, you might hear a mad mom say “you’re on my list”. There are inventory lists, team lists, class lists, bucket lists, Santa’s naughty or nice list that he checks twice, honey do lists, even a TV show called The List. Lists conjure up the word order in my brain. Put it on a list, be organized, be productive, check it off the list.
The bible is full of lists. Being aware of them is a great study tool. The 10 commandments are a list. The Beatitudes in the book of Matthew is a list. While studying the book of Romans I came upon, in my opinion, one of Paul’s greatest life lists. If we write this list of practical life lessons down and purpose to live by them then we have a life well lived. Here is the list from Romans 12: 9-21 taken from The Message. Take a few minutes and write these down (or print this out). Meditate on them. This is a practical list to live by. If we all took this advice to heart can you just imagine our world? Start with you. Start right here today.
- Love from the center of who you are; don’t fake it.
- Run for dear life from evil; hold on for dear life to good.
- Be good friends who love deeply.
- Practice playing second fiddle.
- Don’t burn out; keep yourself fueled and aflame.
- Be alert servants of the Master, cheerfully expectant.
- Don’t quit in hard times; pray all the harder.
- Help needy Christians; be inventive in hospitality.
- Bless your enemies; no cursing under your breath.
- Laugh with your happy friends when they’re happy; share tears when they’re down.
- Get along with each other; don’t be stuck up.
- Make friends with nobodies; don’t be the great somebody.
- Don’t hit back; discover beauty in everyone.
- If you’ve got it in you, get along with everybody.
- Don’t insist on getting even; that’s not for you to do.
- “I’ll do the judging” says God, “I’ll take care of it”.
- Our Scriptures tell us if you see your enemy hungry, go buy that person lunch, or if he’s thirsty get him a drink. Your generosity will surprise him with goodness.
- Don’t let evil get the best of you, get the best of evil by doing good.
Easier said than done; absolutely. We can start small and work our way through. I am going to work on # 8 being inventive in hospitality. How about you?