Daily Devotions

Your Life: God's Masterpiece

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I will instruct you and teach you the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you. (Psalm 32:8)

I love the quote by Nathan W. Morris, “Edit your life frequently and ruthlessly. It’s your masterpiece after all.” If we reviewed our lives with this level of respect and dignity, we would find ourselves more fulfilled. We are valued as children of God, and this life we’ve been given should not be treated casually. God calls us to make the most of our lives and to live with intention and meaning.

We do this by inviting God along for the ride. God knows our past, our present, and our future. If we continually invite God to guide our lives, we will move forward in the direction divinely inspired. Then we can focus meaningfully on the direction we are taking with our work, our family, our hobbies, and our relationship with others. This focus becomes easier and less-forced because we feel deeply that we are doing what God intended.

This focus allows us to say “yes” to what is important and “no” to those requests that are simply a distraction. I used to feel a terrible sense of guilt every time I had to say “no” to someone about anything. It got to the point where everyone seemed to control my life but me. Then I started getting a little distance from my inner self and asking, “If I were someone else, with all the responsibilities I already have before me, would I recommend this other person accept this added responsibility? It made it easier for me to prioritize my life and regain focus.

Finally, editing one’s life requires compassion. If you are like me, you are often more-compassionate and forgiving of others than you are of yourself. We can remain focused and directed if we forgive and are compassionate with ourselves. Today, ask God to give you the wisdom to focus your life on what is truly important. The wisdom to know when to say “yes” and when to say “no.” Finally, to care for yourself enough to make your life a masterpiece.

I Don't Have Time for a Ferrari

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Those who worship vain idols forsake their true loyalty. (Jonah 2:8)

 For more than a decade, Oprah and others have peddled the sick, spiritual, self-help garbage from the book, The Secret. The premise is that if you focus your thoughts and concentration on what you truly desire, it will be drawn to you. Want a Ferrari? Focus all your attention on it and it will find its way to you. Just make sure it doesn’t hit you on the highway! Desperate people have sucked up this drivel, making it a best seller. Now, it is actually becoming a major motion picture staring Katie Holmes. It is a form of idolatry.

Rather than wait upon God’s blessings and heed God’s calling for your life, The Secret encourages us to put our desires ahead of God. It also tells us that we can be the masters of our own domain, we just need to put our focus on it. It implies that we are our own little divine beings, with this somewhat supernatural ability to control our ability. When you get beyond the shallow dreams of consumer desire, it becomes quite empty. Even if we had this mythological ability, we still would have little control over the things that matter most. The Secret even implies that we could heal ourselves by focusing. This little trick cannot ultimately hold off the inevitable: death.

 Today, pray for the wisdom to know your own power, and your own limitations. Call God to free you from the bondage of unhealthy desire. Through prayer, meditate not on what you want, but on what God desires from you. Our task in this life is to honor God and love our neighbor. Darn it, nowhere in the Bible does it call us to focus all our time and attention on driving a Ferrari. Perhaps I’ll save that Ferrari request for when I get to heaven. Lord knows, I can’t afford one on earth. Just kidding. Even if I could afford one, I believe God would have other plans for that money that didn’t include my driving fast and supposedly impressing my neighbors. It ain’t no secret, God expects more from us!

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