Run your life or risk having someone else run it for you
Do you run your life? Or do you just drift along, reacting to what happens every day without any definite plan?
We singles are at risk. Everybody wants to give us advice. Hey! I'm even giving you advice right now and you don't even know me! But here's the difference. I don't have a selfish motive.
I'll probably never meet you and have nothing to gain if you follow what I tell you. The bottom line truth is, my motive is this: I believe Christianity is the best life possible and I want to introduce it to as many people as I can. I'm happy. I want you to be happy too. That's what I'm all about.
Who wants to run your life? And why?
Sometimes people who want to run your life have good motives. Most of the time your parents do. They love you and want what's best for you, even if you can't always see that. In some cases, though, parents can be controlling, to try to manipulate you for their own gain. We have to be realistic and understand that not all parents are altruistic.
Employers want to run your life to get the most profit from your efforts. Again, you need to protect yourself so they don't take unfair advantage of you. Years ago, unions protected workers, but they're not as common as they used to be. Why? Because politicians helped corporations break unions.
It all boiled down to greed. When employers abuse employees, greed is usually the motive. That's been going on since the Egyptians enslaved the Jews to build their monuments.
Friends may want to influence you strongly, again, for selfish motives. Maybe they want you to conform to their ideas or just control you. I think that happens more with women than with men, but sometimes men can be controlling too.
Then there's the government, advertisers, the entertainment business--the forces that want to shape your opinion and get you to act in a certain way are countless. It takes real vigilance to see through this and recognize when you're being used.
Sometimes a pastor or the church wants to run your life. Be careful. Religious authority can be very seductive. It may seem to have your best interests at heart, but you have to be objective and dig for the true motives. They aren't always godly.
Who do you want to run your life?
We'd all like to be in charge of ourselves. We'd like to make our own decisions, plan our own course, set our own goals. Many others are too willing to "help" us with that, but they often have selfish intentions.
I don't know about you, but I find the choices confusing. How do I decide this? What should I do about that? Where do I go for reliable answers?
But how do we do that? Do we wait for a booming voice from heaven to give us instructions? Do we scout out a burning bush? Those things may have happened in the past, but we have other ways to use today.
The Bible as life's guidebook
God is pure love, with no hidden agendas. He wants the best for you. He can be trusted. And, he is perfectly holy and all-wise.
To get his guidance, we rely on two sources: The Bible and the Holy Spirit.
The Bible contains a set of standards and morals for living that has never been equaled by anything invented my man. Start with the Ten Commandments. Most countries' laws are based on the Ten Commandments. If you run your actions and decisions through that filter first, you will make far, far fewer mistakes in life.
Become familiar with the teachings of Jesus in the Bible. Jesus was and is God. He laid down simple rules for right living. If you run your life with them, you can't go wrong.
Pray and ask for guidance from the Holy Spirit. The real presence of Christ inside believers, the Holy Spirit applies God's wisdom to specific situations in our lives. He helps you see the big picture. His foreknowledge enables you to envision the consequences of your decisions in advance.
If you have trouble understanding the Bible or don't like to read it, I recommend The Life Application Bible. It puts Scriptural principles into plain language and instructions. As you read the footnotes in this Bible, you'll discover practical ways to use God's wisdom to run your life.
Don't rely on self-help books when you can turn to the God-help book, the Bible. It will not only guide you to the right path in this life, but it will help you get to heaven too.