Now, before you jump to conclusions and label me dysfunctional, a fighting fundamentalist, or something worse, allow me to explain.
First of all, In the way I live and steward my life, I am a firm believer in "Prioritized Do Lists." Every single day I make a list of what I believe He would have me do on that day and work my way through the list; praying for insight, focus, flexibility and sensitivity to the Holy Spirit.
For more insight on this, visit "Priority Management Tips" in the articles section.
Secondly, God's Word is loaded with "Lists." Here are a few passages that contain lists of essential qualities that we are to pursue with His help and enabling:
Galatians 5: 19-22~ A list of both the works of the flesh and the fruit of the spirit
I Timothy 3: 2-7~A list of qualifications for a church elder
2 Peter 1: 5-7~ A list of attributes to pursue with the accompanying promise that if we do so we will never fall; that got my attention pretty quick.
Col 3:12~A list that I am currently praying and meditating over; asking Jesus to empower me to have these qualities in my life: Compassion, kindness, humility, meekness and patience
I love lists in God's word because they give me some things to pray over and work toward. I don't believe the Lord put these lists (and dozens of others such as the ten commandments) in His Word for my reading pleasure but so that I would be transformed and live out the attributes listed.
Perhaps one of my favorite lists (as it is rendered in Eugene Peterson's The Message) is Matthew 22:16 where the Pharisees pay Jesus a complement by saying, "Teacher we know:
- You have integrity
- Teach the way of God accurately
- Are indifferent to popular opinion
- Don't pander to your students
Wow! As I teach, lead and love people, I want to be like Jesus as described in this list.
Now there are lists I don't like. These are the lists that people create of what they won't do and then take such lists and make them a measuring stick for other people.
You know what I am talking about. During 48 years of following Jesus, I have see these "Don't Lists" come and go; don't play cards, dance, go to movies, work on Sunday, wear make up, listen to certain kinds of music, etc. God's lists are good and man's lists are ...well just that; man's lists