May 13, 2011

Living Intentionally II, Gordon and Gail MacDonald

Part 2 of 2 on Living Intentionally
The idea of living intentionally is based upon the premise that we are the sum total of our resolves, whether we realize it or not.  Are you going to make them as you think God wants you to make them or are you going to let them be made for you by other people.  Resolves are your core intentions for living a life that pleases God.  These resolves are very different for each person.

Once you make your resolves, it requires great intention to commit to them and apply them each day in the big and little details of daily life:
  • how we treat people
  • how we respect people
  • how we respond to conflict and difficult times
  • what things we feel committed to say in public
  • what things we feel committed to not say in public

Resolves are intentions, not a list of rules; it is not legalism....
  We must guard against the pitfalls of legalism and pride, both of which can stem from living by resolve.  As Christians, our resolves display the quality of the Christian life to the rest of the world.  The MacDonalds caution that the Father's business never meant to be a business that burns us out, destroys us or so overwhelms us, depresses us or keeps us from living out our commitment for full and healthy living.  A lot of Christ followers look like they are doing a lot, but you don't sense joy, you sense obligation or trying to prove something

When you make a resolve, you're saying I want these consequences and in order to do that, I'll resolve to do this today. So the consequences tomorrow become possible because of things I resolve to do on this particular day.
Anita Lustrea, co-host of Midday Connection where the MacDonalds were discussing this issue of Living Intentionally, commented that she still remembers one of the resolves of a former Moody President, the resolve to "never suppress a generous impulse."   What a resolve!  I love that.

The show also featured some of the resolves of Jonathan Edwards:
  • Never to lose even one moment of time, but to improve it in any way I possibly can.
  • Never to do anything which I would be afraid to do if it were the last hour of my life.
  • Let there be something of benevolence in all that I speak.
  • After afflictions, to inquire what I am the better for them, what good I have gotten from them and what I might have gotten from them.
  • To ask myself at the end of every day, week, year wherein I could possibly in any respect have done better.
  • To study the scriptures so steadily, constantly and frequently as that I might find and plainly perceive myself to grow in the knowledge of the same.
Gordon, with his big-picture personality, keeps his list of resolves in a plastic bag in the shower so he can read them each morning.  Gail, however, keeps hers in her head.  I am the type, I would need them in view several times a day.  I am the type who "looks in a mirror, walks away and forgets what manner of man I am."  Unfortunately, my resolves too often easily fall by the wayside.

Finally, they left us with some bullet points about Resolves:
  • They are intentions and directions, to be used like a map.
  • Keep them simple and few in number.
  • Review them daily.
  • Modify them periodically as your life changes.
  • Share them with very few people.
Living Intentionally, Part One
Living Intentionally, Part Two
By Gordon MacDonald:  A Resilient Life   Ordering Your Private World

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