Need some words to live by?
I love me some Chick-Fil-A. Give me a Chick-Fil-A sandwich with extra pickles and some fresh-out-of-the-fryer waffle fries with a large unsweet tea and I’m a happy girl. I don’t need a cow to tell me to, “eat mor chicken.” I’m a self-motivated chicken eater.
Chick-Fil-A’s vision is to, “be America’s best quick-service restaurant.” Their purpose is, “to glorify God by being a faithful steward of all that is entrusted to us. To have a positive influence on all who come in contact with Chick-Fil-A.”
There’s a lot more to running a Chick-Fil-A than just knowing the vision and purpose. I’m sure there’s written info about how to run a cash register, how to make a milkshake, and how to greet customers. But their vision and purpose provide a concise statement that gives overall direction to the organization.
Have you ever wished for a concise statement about how to live a Christian life? Ephesians 5:15 says, “So be careful how you live. Don’t live like fools, but like those who are wise.” Did you ever wonder what that meant? How do you live wisely? How can we be careful about how we live?
In 1 Corinthians 16:13-14, we read seventeen wise, concise, and directional words. In these few words, we see an overview of how we should live. We are given values that enable us to live wisely. Here are the seventeen words:
Be on guard. Stand firm in the faith. Be courageous. Be strong. And do everything with love.
So simple. So short. And yet so powerful. Stick, “I will,” in front of each sentence, and you’ve got some forceful and compelling words to live by.
Of course, the Bible gives more detailed information about how to live, but these words give a great overview. If everyone embraced these seventeen words, what a change that would make in the world. Families would be stronger. Addictions would be broken. Kindness would abound. All this and more would result if we stayed alert, lived out our faith, acted with courage instead of fear, and walked in the strength of God.
And just imagine if we did what we did because of love. Everything. All the time. Y’all, that kind of living changes the world. That’s the kind of life Jesus lived. And that’s the kind of careful, wise living Jesus wants for us.
It’s only five actions and only seventeen words but they sure pack a punch. Let’s strive to be awake and aware, rooted in the truth of the faith, fearless, and strong in the power of God. And at the core of it all—our calling and purpose—is love. Let’s love God with all our hearts, and love others in the way God has loved us. May we live wisely and walk worthy of our incredible calling.
Dear God, I want to live with these seventeen words embedded in the fabric of my life. Lord, keep me alert, true to my faith, courageous, and strong. And fill me with a supernatural love that reaches out to warm the world and point people to you. In Jesus’s name, amen.