The Bible is the believer’s source of truth. It is God’s revealed word to his people. No real news there for many Christians; however, rather than faithfully plowing through life for the glory of God despite what circumstances may come, we tend to constantly be striving for keys to make our lives comfortable in the here and now. The desire for instant gratification has also crept into the church to combine with this self-gratifying approach to the spiritual life. As a result, we often want an instant spirituality that results in comfort. Thus, this blog plays off our weaknesses. This blog is not about 5 Keys to Master Life, but 5 spiritual disciplines that should be regular habits in every believer’s life. Since many people only read the bolded bullet points, I’ve provided a faulty point followed by a faithful truth.
- Those who attend church 3 or more times per month experience ½ the stress levels of those who don’t.
Attending church is not about losing stress. Who knows if this point is accidently true? I’d assume it isn’t, since I made it up. Believers’ stress is declined when we believe in a good, faithful, and sovereign God, and when we submit to his command not to stress (Matt 6:25-34). We attend church as God’s people, because he has called us to do so (Heb 10:24-25). As we attend, we do so to be an encouragement to other believers.
- Those who give at least 10% of their gross income receive, on average, raises 3 times more frequently than those who don’t.
Again, completely made up. Tithing is an acknowledgement of God as the ultimate source of all that we have and should be done in obedience to his will, not as a means of rubbing the bottle and unleashing the genie. As believers, we have an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, unfading, and secure. Why would we seek to gather our acorns here, when we have secured a feast there? May we be faithful to honor God with our money because he has called us to it.
- Those who serve faithfully in at least 1 area of ministry are 3 times more likely to have a more satisfying marriage.
Did I mention that all the points are made up? Each believer, even the pastor, is called to serve within the confines of the local church. Multiple passages point to this pattern (Eph 4:11-12; 1 Cor 12:7; Gal 5:13; etc.). While serving certainly tends to take our eyes off of our own problems, we serve out of the joy of being served through the cross of Christ for the glory of God. That is our motivation.
- Those who spend at least 10 minutes a day in Bible study and prayer live on average 12 years longer than those who don’t.
Studies have been conducted to try and show the personal benefits of prayer and Bible study, especially life longevity. I have no idea if any correlation exists, but the point above was made up. We as Christians study God’s word for many reasons, including being able to rightly interpret and apply the Bible, rightly present him to others, better understand the gospel, and better understand God’s expectations for his people (2 Tim 2:15; Heb 4:12).
- Those who witness at least 2 times per year are considered 2 times friendlier than those who don’t.
We don’t witness to become friendlier, but because the eternal destiny of one’s soul is at stake and in obedience to a God who has called his children to make disciples of all nations. Even pastors struggle in this area and need to be faithful to witness outside of a church context.
This blog is ultimately about obedience, not benefits. May we not seek succinct keys to master life, but methods to faithfully submit every aspect of our list to the Master of Life.
Paul in both Galatians 2:20 and 2 Corinthians 5:14-15 proclaimed that believers are to be motivated by the sacrificial, substitionary, love-driven death of Jesus Christ and not by the personally perceived benefits. We are called to be enamored by his love and driven to obedience out of an appreciative, not self-centered, heart.