Every believer is responsible to conduct himself deliberately.
Let me explain what I mean.
To live deliberately is to live on purpose. It’s the opposite of letting life happen to you. It’s the opposite of going with the flow.
To be deliberate is to be careful, not careless. To be thoughtful, not thoughtless. To be deliberate is to be intentional.
A quick caveat
I’ve been wanting to do a series on this topic for quite some time. But every time I consider starting, I’m reminded of all the objections to deliberate living. I’ve waited a long time in order to let my thoughts settle, but I’ll take this series similarly to how I handled my series on epistemology (part 1, 2, 3, 4, 5): I’ll work through it as I go.
Probably the biggest objection to deliberate living is that it’s a personality thing. “You’re a thoughtful sort of person. I’m not. So I don’t need to worry about that sort of thing.”
Another objection is that deliberate living is just a form of legalism. That it focuses on externals and insists on black and white answers.
Finally, some would object that deliberate living is a professional concept, not a Christian one, and—as all good Piper fans know—brothers, we are not professionals.
1) To the first objection, I’d suggest that this logic simply doesn’t follow. Some people are more prone to honesty than others. But that neither makes honesty right or wrong. It’s immaterial.
2) In response to the second objection, certainly a legalist could easily gravitate to the conclusions of a deliberate mindset. But legalism is the exact opposite of deliberate living. To be deliberate is to let go of previous conclusions and to work through the issues in order to come to a deliberate conclusion.
3) Finally, I would posit that deliberate living is indeed a distinctly Christian concept. I would suggest that Christ perfectly exemplified deliberate living and that it is this deliberate, intentional work of Christ that lies at the heart of God’s saving grace to sinners.
I hope to address these and other issues more thoroughly in coming posts.
One more thought
Having read this far, you might be thinking that my thesis (that every believer is responsible to conduct himself deliberately) is painfully obvious and pointedly dull.
If that is you, I’m glad to hear it. Still, I would encourage you to settle this matter in your heart now, because if and once this thesis is accepted and the implications are seen, it will lead you to a lifestyle that is—as one intentional Disney character was described—”scary beyond all reason.”
In fact, to put it plainly and probably more bluntly than wisdom would dictate, most believers don’t have the guts to do it. I do pray that you will.
Grace to you.