A Yes-Centered Life (part 1)

We can summarize our lives as revolving around basically two words: “yes” or “no”.

A friend of mine recently redefined accountability for me, saying that accountability is primarily about what we did right. For example, is the primary issue that you didn’t steal money from the cash drawer, or that you were generous in your giving?¬† It the primary issue that you avoided alcohol, or that you were filled with the Spirit?

Sometimes I think I get this, and other times I think I don’t. I’ve noticed that the more that I walk in who I was called to be, the less I struggle with the things that get me down. However, the further I drift from God’s commands and His call and purpose, the more I feel like I’m on a downward slope, struggling for a foothold, ready for everything to let loose as I go tumbling down to the bottom of the mountain I tried so hard to climb.

Whenever that happens, I instinctively start yelling to myself, “No! No! I shouldn’t be getting angry!” Or, “I shouldn’t be working myself silly trying to get this thing done!” Ironically, I get so obsessed with avoiding the temptation that the temptation consumes my whole attention. But what if I turned that around? What if my focus were a “yes!” What if, instead of fighting to keep my cool or keep my sanity, I turned to God and said, “Yes, I embrace your life! Obviously this other stuff isn’t working so well for me, so I say ‘yes’ to your Spirit!”

Paul wrote, “So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.” By saying “yes” to the Spirit, we implicitly say no to the flesh.

Many of us have seen a “no”-centered Christianity. “Don’t do this.” “Don’t do that.” Some of us have reacted to that, so we do the things we’re not supposed to do. Well, the trouble is, those things are exactly what get us in trouble.

What if we turned that around to a “yes”-centered Christianity? Follow after Christ. Love your neighbor. Pour yourself out selflessly for others. Doesn’t that take on a whole new perspective? (It does for me, at least.)

Maybe this is one of the things that keeps people in bondage to sin. They struggle to avoid sin, but they have nothing to pursue instead. Consider how men view the issue of moral purity. Oddly, we as men blame our maleness for the problem, not realizing that, quite ironically, our maleness holds the answer. Could it be that when we withdraw from our God-given role of leadership and stop being aggressive for truth, for righteousness, for the Kingdom¬† (our “yes”), that we start getting pulled into all the other muck and mire (our “no”)? Doesn’t that change our whole approach to living a life of holiness and purity?

Yes. No.

Two words. Two views.

Jesus, bring us closer to the truth!

One comment

  1. Thank you. Please don’t stop writing!

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