Born to Live

Right! We are born to live! Many young people have a wrong notion that they are born to die. Living with the very thought itself kills every minute of their lives. Life is a precious gift of God. After creating the entire universe God ooked around at His handiwork and let out a squeal, “Hi, that’s fantastic!” (Gen 1:31). So life is a beautiful donation of God. Value it and live it to the fullest. Don’t throw it away in the dustbin. When we read in the news of lives wasted or crushed and tossed away it saddens us. Make the best use of life. We must have the gusto to face the hiccups and hurdles of life. No doubt, we are born to live. Stand up, jump, shout, “I am born to live.”

But there is no denying the fact that life is difficult. “If a man LIVES many years and rejoices in them all, yet let him remember the days of darkness, for they will be many” (Eccl 11:8). The same sun that hardens
clay melts wax. We can either become hardened by life’s tortures or be softened like the wax.

Jesus said, “I have come that they may have LIFE, and that they may have it more abundantly” (Jn 10:10).

But satan comes to steal and to kill and to destroy. If we go with God we’ll enjoy an abundant life. If we go with satan we will lose the game, get damaged and die. The Bible is the signpost to show us the way to life. Let’s see some of the principles it prescribes for a happy life.

1. Live by the Word of God.

“Man shall not LIVE by bread alone; but by every Word that proceeds from the mouth of God” (Mt 4:4).

Most people have a wrong assumption that the most needed commodity for life is bread and spend a lifetime for it. But Jesus taught otherwise. Martha prepared the bread for life but Mary was eating the bread of life. Jesus put the emphasis on the latter. He said, “One thing is needed” (Lk 10:42). How? You can starve and die and enter eternal life but you cannot just eat, live and go into heaven. That’s the story of the rich man and Lazarus.

“I am the bread of LIFE” said Jesus (Jn 6:35, 48-50). The Word became flesh. So He is the Word. Eat the Word and live. The Israelites ate the manna in the wilderness and are dead. But if you eat the bread of life you will live forever.

Very good. Let’s eat this bread. But where is it? Who will give us this wonderful food? It is no magic bread that has to be transported from far off. It is not high up in the blue skies or beyond the emerald oceans. “But the Word is very near you, in your mouth and in your heart, that you may DO IT. See, I have set before you today LIFE and good, death and evil” (Dt 30:11-15). Today the Word of God is in our hands in printed form. It’s a text book on life. Read it, take it to your heart and do it. That is how you choose life and good.

Adam and Eve chose death. They chose satan’s words instead of God’s. They thought God was depriving them of something. Both the tree of life and the tree of death were in the midst of the garden. But their eyes were drawn to the luscious forbidden fruit. God’s laws are not made to keep us from enjoying life but to protect us from harm and evil.

Many thought they were enjoying life and lost the fun of life. They went after boys, lost their virginity, became pregnant, had abortions, suffered harm, shame and humiliation and contracted diseases. Is this enjoyment? Others ran away from lust and cried to God day and night for the strain of it, overcame temptations, married and are living happily. Which is enjoying life? Don’t let the devil fool you whispering, “You will not surely die.”

If you have gone astray come back to the Word of God and embrace the hope and forgiveness it gives.

Should we not then earn our bread? Well, let your principle be to read and read and read the Word and live by it – a little bit of feeding the stomach should go with it to quell hunger.

Spread your hands. If you want life and good, clench your right fist and vow to live by the Word of God, let come what may.

2. Live without worry.

“Do not worry about your LIFE” (Mt 6:25).

Martha was worried and troubled about many things. Jesus taught us not to worry about our dining table or drinks or dress. Life is more than food and body superior to clothes. Somebody toils and sweats and sows and reaps. Birds eat their products free of charge. Has any queen on earth draped a dress as soft as a rose petal? Are we not more precious in God’s sight than roses and lilies? Go for a walk, observe the birds and flowers and quit worrying. Can you add one foot to your height by worrying? (Mt 6:27).

“Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own troubles” (Mt 6:34). In modern English it means to live one day at a time. Have a great day whatever the day may bring. I had a cousin who was weak in studies. When the results were out she would invite us for a party in her home. With wonder we would ask her why she was throwing a party when she had failed. She would answer giggling, “Oh, that is to get over my sorrow.” She knew the art of living. She married a very successful good man and had a hilarious life.

Planning for tomorrow is different from worrying about tomorrow. You need to prepare for your examinations. But do it without worrying. Satan makes you worry about your means, looks, future, past and a host of other things and that lead you to inferiority complex. “I am not popular, I am not good in studies, I am not good looking…” There is nothing more destructive than self-putdown. Don’t feel sorry for yourself. Love yourself. Unless you love yourself you
cannot love others like yourself.

Paul’s counsel is excellent. “Rejoice… always. Again … rejoice.” Why fret? Instead pray; make a ball of your worries, dip it in praise and throw it to God for a catch. Before you know it a heavenly peace will settle down on you like snow (Phil 4:4-6). Make prayer a habit.

We may lose a lot in life but remember, there is much more that remains. Surgeons pitied a girl who lost a leg to a shark while swimming. But she said, “So what? I have more than what I have lost. A millionaire may feel sorry for losing 1000 Rupees. But he will not worry; because he has got much left.” Isn’t that beautiful!

Take life neither too seriously nor too lightly. Those who take life too seriously cannot stand the slightest trauma. Those who take life too lightly will not be productive. Have a buoyant outlook on life. Laugh a lot, joke a lot. Buy a joke book and keep it in the toilet. Smile a lot (but don’t get into trouble). Have strong family bonds. Go for picnics, celebrate birthdays, anniversaries and all occasions. Secretly buy a garland and surprise your parents on their wedding anniversary. Watch Tom and Jerry. Be fun to live with. Play harmless tricks. Wearing a long haggard face is not Christianity. Enjoy life, enjoy everyday. Go to the exhibition and jump into all the rides. Eat a papad. Take the rollercoaster ide and squeal like children—aaah, woooo, oooooo. Go to the circus. Involve in games and sports. Do the good you like. Eat your favourite dish. Eat out now and then. Love life with all your heart!

Are there no troubles in life? Of course, there’s a truck full of them. They cannot be separated from life. But keep your troubles well behind. Let it not engulf the joy of living. Love life and live to enjoy it. An optimist fell twelve stories and at each window bar he yelled to his friends who were frightened below, “Well, I’m all right so far!” Whenever you worry, tell yourself, “Well, I’m all right so far.” Most of your worries about future will vanish then.

Seeds of worry strangle the Word you feed on and make you unfruitful (Mt 13:22). Worry will blunt the sharp edge of your expectation of Second Coming and the Day will take you by complete surprise (Lk 21:34). Enjoying life should not lead you to laziness and non productivity. Study well, work hard. Do house work. Learn cooking, it’s fun.

3. Live Austerely

“One’s LIFE does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses” (Lk 12:15).

The context of this statement of Jesus is a man asking Him to order his brother to give him a fair share of the family inheritance. Legally he was right. But Jesus talked to the crowd about greed. He went on to say a parable about a rich farmer who had a bumper harvest and wanted to hoard it all. God called him a fool and asked him to whom all that he saved would go in case of his death.

Don’t clutter your house with things. Don’t go on a shopping spree. Avoid stuffing suitcases and pushing them under the cot. Eve had everything anyone could hope for. But she wanted one more thing and she suffered for it. So are we. Don’t wear yourself out trying to get rich. “For riches certainly make themselves wings; they fly away like an eagle toward heaven” says Solomon (Prov 23:5).

Satan will show you what you don’t have just as he did to Eve and make you feel miserable and dissatisfied with what you do have, leading to murmuring, displeasing God. We run after status symbols like a bungalow, car, fridge, microwave and what not. Beware of the pride of life (1 Jn 2:16). I am not trying to say that you should not be ambitious. Ambition is good. But do not be over ambitious. Study well, work well, earn well, go to the Gulf or America, build a house. They are not sinful. But in every step allow God to guide you, not mammon.

Satan entered Judas through his carnal desires. He sold his soul for thirty pieces of silver. How many of us are selling our souls for a pittance? Satan pushes you to buy beyond your means and go into credit. Paul was taught by Gamaliel to be content, whatever his circumstances, to be just as happy with little as with much. He had found the recipe for being happy whether full or hungry, hands full or hands empty (Phil 4:11- 12).

If a man could achieve half of his desires, he would double his problems” said Benjamin Franklin. So make a decision not to waste money, hoard things and run after material possessions.

4. Live by Faith.

“The just shall LIVE by faith; but if anyone draws back, my soul has no pleasure in him” (Heb 10:38).

The devil will constantly challenge the faith of a child of God. He told Jesus, “If you are the Son of God…” (Mt 4:3). He will ask you the same. Never, never doubt that you are a child of God, a righteous person, justified by God. Nothing should shake your faith in God. If you fail, run to God. Even if you fail a thousand times run to Him and cry. That’s faith. Otherwise God has no pleasure in you.

Elijah, Jonah and Job all became desperate and sought death. We will also face similar situations in life. When the disciples screamed, “Lord, save us” Jesus was rather irritated. He scolded them saying, “Why are you fearful, O, you of little faith?” Life may push you down the gutter, but keep your head up. That’s faith. Take what life gives you and make the best of it. Be optimistic.

In Galatians 2:20 Paul confesses, “The LIFE which I now live in the flesh, I LIVE by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” Before marriage or after marriage, in all desperate situations think of the One who loved you and gave Himself for you and hold on to your faith. I asked a dear brother who survived the tsunami how he escaped. He said he was thrown against a branch and held on to it when the giant wave pulled him back with a mighty force. Faith is your branch. Hold on to it and nothing can destroy you.

Failure, depression, eve-teasing, ditching, teenage pregnancy, abortion —suicide is no option whatever may be the situation. Have faith. Put behind situations that put you to shame and move forward. There can be new beginnings and second chances all through your life cycle. Have you heard of Mukhtar Mai? Brutally assaulted by higher clan men, the illiterate Pakistani peasant girl was supposed to restore her family’s honour by killing herself. Instead Mukhtar Mai chose to live to fight for justice and to find a better life for women like herself. Her rapists received death sentence. With the five lakhs the government gave, she started a school. Contributions poured in. Now she runs three schools and counsels many women. She constantly lives under the fear of the higher clan Mastois murdering her. She wants to educate illiterate Pakistani girls so they don’t have to go through what she did. Raped girls in Pakistan are killed in the name of honour. But Mukhtar Mai broke that tradition. Turn satan’s onslaughts into achievements. To satan belongs fear, anxiety and negative thoughts. God is never bad, He is always good. Today make a decision never to doubt that you are a child of God and to never let go off your faith.

5. Live Peaceably.

“If it is possible, as much as depends on you, LIVE peaceably with all men” (Rom 12:18).

Good relationship is very very important for a happy life. God has called us to peace (1 Cor 7:15). We need to relate smoothly with our parents, children, siblings, neighbours, friends, life partner and enemies. A few hints to butter your relationship—

Parents—obey them in the Lord. Unless what they demand is outrightly wrong or sinful, obey them.

Children          — do not irritate them
Siblings          — give up
Neighbours     — Be kind and helpful

Friends—accept them as they are. No two individuals are the same. We think, act, speak differently. So don’t expect your friend to be as you.

Life partner  — Do not talk back
Enemies      — Do good for evil

There are some impossible situations which you have to accept. Nothing can be done about it. But from your side go the second mile. Don’t hit back rather discover beauty in everyone. Resist the temptation to give tit for tat. Never, never fight. It spoils peace and takes the zest out of life. “Rejoice in the Lord always” says Paul and in the same breath says, “Let your gentleness be know to all men” (Phil 4:4,5). Do you see how joy and gentleness are related?

Once, before my marriage I was travelling home. When I got down from my upper berth my feet touched a lady’s shoulder who was sitting in the lower berth. She started shouting at me using abusive words. I profusely apologized but she kept lashing her tongue. She raved and ranted till the lights were off. I held my peace. Morning she was in the same sour mood. When the train pulled over in my town my father (a doctor) was there to receive me. He saw the lady and instantly smiled. “Hello, Mary,” he said, “this is my daughter. She is a doctor in the Christian Medical College Hospital, Vellore.” He turned to me and said, “This is Mary, ayah (aid) in my ward.” Her face became black and she quickly walked away. Does she need a greater punishment? “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay” says the Lord (Rom 12:19).

Romans 12:20 means—if you see your enemy’s car broken down, stop and help. If she is struggling to pass a subject, help her. If you find his lost object, hand it over to him. If he is admitted in the hospital, visit him. This does not mean you have to passively accept abuse or being pushed around. Every individual has a right to personal dignity. So be assertive. Put an end to sexual or other harassment. You have the right to say, ‘No’. Report to trusted people and seek help. Don’t commit suicide.

Satan makes you fight for every small thing. But let the love of Christ so fill your heart that you refuse to fight. Learn to control your anger. Make a decision never to fight.

6. Live Quietly.

“He who would love LIFE and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips from speaking deceit” (1 Pet 3:10).

The earlier you learn tongue-control, the better. For,  “Death and LIFE are in the power of the tongue” (Prov 18:21). Tongue is closely related to a good life. It is easy to read the Bible, close it and say, “Lord, you know my weakness.” But the Lord is not going to hear any of it. First stop reviling. If it is a habit with you, go down on your knees. Cry to God and lock your lips. Once you achieve it come to the next step and stop retaliating. Your tongue will twist and turn inside your mouth to lash out. But make the tongue your slave. Now to the third step—bless those who revile you (1 Pet 3:9). It is easier said than done. With men this may be impossible but with God all things are possible.

Tackle one by one—deceit, talking back to parents and superiors, bad language, lying, vain talk, dirty talk, backbiting…When you become a wife you must cultivate the quiet spirit. Win over your husband “without a word” (1 Pet 3:1-5). The beauty of a woman is her gentle and quiet spirit.

James talks about the tongue at length (Js 3). If you learn to control your tongue, you will be in perfect control of your life. It can turn you towards life or towards death like the ship by a small rudder. Taming elephants and lions is easier. The tongue sets on fire the course of nature. But with hard work you can bring it under your control.

“He who guards his mouth preserves LIFE, but he who opens wide his lips shall have destruction” (Prov 13:3). Don’t allow satan to abuse your tongue. Every time you misuse your tongue apologize to God and the victim and make decisions. Right now, close the magazine and put it down. On your knees decide to have absolute control over your tongue. This freedom of tongue cannot go on. Curb it. Bring it to your subjection—so that you may live the abundant life.

7. Live to Lose.

“Whoever desires to save his LIFE will lose it, but whoever loses his LIFE for My sake will find it” (Mt 16:25).


Look at the context. Peter was out and against any suffering for Jesus. Jesus rebuked the satanic suggestion that came through him. Jesus added, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.” That means, saying ‘no’ to self umpteen number of times every day. Modern day prosperity preaching exalts a life without suffering. Jesus taught otherwise. Of the widow, Jesus said, “… out of her poverty she
put in all the LIVELIHOOD that she had” (Lk 21:4). She invested her very life in God’s service. Yes, giving is the best way of living. Jesus was born in a cowshed. Not the clean and beautiful manger you see in the Christmas scene. A
real uncouth cowshed with cowdung and dirt and mosquitos everywhere. He grew up in a poor carpenter’s house with atleast six siblings, worked as a carpenter, had no scooter or car or even a horse or a donkey, walked the streets and died on a cross. He carried the cross from birth to death. Though King, He was a Servant.

Paul proclaims in Philippians 1:21, “To me, to LIVE is Christ, and to die is gain.” He lived for Christ and died for Christ. Christianity is a religion of sacrifice. In Revelation 12:11 we read about martyrs, “They did not love their LIVES to the death.”

Paul tells Timothy, “No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this LIFE, that he may please Him who enlisted him as a soldier” (2 Tim 2:4). When a soldier signs up, he knows his life is not his own. He knows he has signed up to give his life. So what does he do? He doesn’t get caught up in the muddle of life. He lives to   ose his life for his country and for the pay packet. We are God’s soldiers signed up to lose our life for Him. Go for God. Don’t fear those who can kill only the body. Push aside the fears satan throws in your face and march ahead, left right, left  right.

I may never march in the infantry,
Ride in the cavalry,
Shoot in artillery;
I may never fly o’er the enemy,
But I’m in the Lord’s army!

We are born to live, why waste life? Let us live the rich and satisfying life that Jesus came to give and enjoy it.

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Dr. Lilian Stanley
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Born to Live

Right! We are born to live! Many young people have a wrong notion that they are born to die. Living with the very thought itself kills every minute of their lives. Life is a precious gift of God. After creating the entire universe God ooked around at His handiwork and let out a squeal, “Hi, that’s fantastic!” (Gen 1:31). So life is a beautiful donation of God. Value it and live it to the fullest. Don’t throw it away in the dustbin. When we read in the news of lives wasted or crushed and tossed away it saddens us. Make the best use of life. We must have the gusto to face the hiccups and hurdles of life. No doubt, we are born to live. Stand up, jump, shout, “I am born to live.”

But there is no denying the fact that life is difficult. “If a man LIVES many years and rejoices in them all, yet let him remember the days of darkness, for they will be many” (Eccl 11:8). The same sun that hardens
clay melts wax. We can either become hardened by life’s tortures or be softened like the wax.

Jesus said, “I have come that they may have LIFE, and that they may have it more abundantly” (Jn 10:10).

But satan comes to steal and to kill and to destroy. If we go with God we’ll enjoy an abundant life. If we go with satan we will lose the game, get damaged and die. The Bible is the signpost to show us the way to life. Let’s see some of the principles it prescribes for a happy life.

1. Live by the Word of God.

“Man shall not LIVE by bread alone; but by every Word that proceeds from the mouth of God” (Mt 4:4).

Most people have a wrong assumption that the most needed commodity for life is bread and spend a lifetime for it. But Jesus taught otherwise. Martha prepared the bread for life but Mary was eating the bread of life. Jesus put the emphasis on the latter. He said, “One thing is needed” (Lk 10:42). How? You can starve and die and enter eternal life but you cannot just eat, live and go into heaven. That’s the story of the rich man and Lazarus.

“I am the bread of LIFE” said Jesus (Jn 6:35, 48-50). The Word became flesh. So He is the Word. Eat the Word and live. The Israelites ate the manna in the wilderness and are dead. But if you eat the bread of life you will live forever.

Very good. Let’s eat this bread. But where is it? Who will give us this wonderful food? It is no magic bread that has to be transported from far off. It is not high up in the blue skies or beyond the emerald oceans. “But the Word is very near you, in your mouth and in your heart, that you may DO IT. See, I have set before you today LIFE and good, death and evil” (Dt 30:11-15). Today the Word of God is in our hands in printed form. It’s a text book on life. Read it, take it to your heart and do it. That is how you choose life and good.

Adam and Eve chose death. They chose satan’s words instead of God’s. They thought God was depriving them of something. Both the tree of life and the tree of death were in the midst of the garden. But their eyes were drawn to the luscious forbidden fruit. God’s laws are not made to keep us from enjoying life but to protect us from harm and evil.

Many thought they were enjoying life and lost the fun of life. They went after boys, lost their virginity, became pregnant, had abortions, suffered harm, shame and humiliation and contracted diseases. Is this enjoyment? Others ran away from lust and cried to God day and night for the strain of it, overcame temptations, married and are living happily. Which is enjoying life? Don’t let the devil fool you whispering, “You will not surely die.”

If you have gone astray come back to the Word of God and embrace the hope and forgiveness it gives.

Should we not then earn our bread? Well, let your principle be to read and read and read the Word and live by it – a little bit of feeding the stomach should go with it to quell hunger.

Spread your hands. If you want life and good, clench your right fist and vow to live by the Word of God, let come what may.

2. Live without worry.

“Do not worry about your LIFE” (Mt 6:25).

Martha was worried and troubled about many things. Jesus taught us not to worry about our dining table or drinks or dress. Life is more than food and body superior to clothes. Somebody toils and sweats and sows and reaps. Birds eat their products free of charge. Has any queen on earth draped a dress as soft as a rose petal? Are we not more precious in God’s sight than roses and lilies? Go for a walk, observe the birds and flowers and quit worrying. Can you add one foot to your height by worrying? (Mt 6:27).

“Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own troubles” (Mt 6:34). In modern English it means to live one day at a time. Have a great day whatever the day may bring. I had a cousin who was weak in studies. When the results were out she would invite us for a party in her home. With wonder we would ask her why she was throwing a party when she had failed. She would answer giggling, “Oh, that is to get over my sorrow.” She knew the art of living. She married a very successful good man and had a hilarious life.

Planning for tomorrow is different from worrying about tomorrow. You need to prepare for your examinations. But do it without worrying. Satan makes you worry about your means, looks, future, past and a host of other things and that lead you to inferiority complex. “I am not popular, I am not good in studies, I am not good looking…” There is nothing more destructive than self-putdown. Don’t feel sorry for yourself. Love yourself. Unless you love yourself you
cannot love others like yourself.

Paul’s counsel is excellent. “Rejoice… always. Again … rejoice.” Why fret? Instead pray; make a ball of your worries, dip it in praise and throw it to God for a catch. Before you know it a heavenly peace will settle down on you like snow (Phil 4:4-6). Make prayer a habit.

We may lose a lot in life but remember, there is much more that remains. Surgeons pitied a girl who lost a leg to a shark while swimming. But she said, “So what? I have more than what I have lost. A millionaire may feel sorry for losing 1000 Rupees. But he will not worry; because he has got much left.” Isn’t that beautiful!

Take life neither too seriously nor too lightly. Those who take life too seriously cannot stand the slightest trauma. Those who take life too lightly will not be productive. Have a buoyant outlook on life. Laugh a lot, joke a lot. Buy a joke book and keep it in the toilet. Smile a lot (but don’t get into trouble). Have strong family bonds. Go for picnics, celebrate birthdays, anniversaries and all occasions. Secretly buy a garland and surprise your parents on their wedding anniversary. Watch Tom and Jerry. Be fun to live with. Play harmless tricks. Wearing a long haggard face is not Christianity. Enjoy life, enjoy everyday. Go to the exhibition and jump into all the rides. Eat a papad. Take the rollercoaster ide and squeal like children—aaah, woooo, oooooo. Go to the circus. Involve in games and sports. Do the good you like. Eat your favourite dish. Eat out now and then. Love life with all your heart!

Are there no troubles in life? Of course, there’s a truck full of them. They cannot be separated from life. But keep your troubles well behind. Let it not engulf the joy of living. Love life and live to enjoy it. An optimist fell twelve stories and at each window bar he yelled to his friends who were frightened below, “Well, I’m all right so far!” Whenever you worry, tell yourself, “Well, I’m all right so far.” Most of your worries about future will vanish then.

Seeds of worry strangle the Word you feed on and make you unfruitful (Mt 13:22). Worry will blunt the sharp edge of your expectation of Second Coming and the Day will take you by complete surprise (Lk 21:34). Enjoying life should not lead you to laziness and non productivity. Study well, work hard. Do house work. Learn cooking, it’s fun.

3. Live Austerely

“One’s LIFE does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses” (Lk 12:15).

The context of this statement of Jesus is a man asking Him to order his brother to give him a fair share of the family inheritance. Legally he was right. But Jesus talked to the crowd about greed. He went on to say a parable about a rich farmer who had a bumper harvest and wanted to hoard it all. God called him a fool and asked him to whom all that he saved would go in case of his death.

Don’t clutter your house with things. Don’t go on a shopping spree. Avoid stuffing suitcases and pushing them under the cot. Eve had everything anyone could hope for. But she wanted one more thing and she suffered for it. So are we. Don’t wear yourself out trying to get rich. “For riches certainly make themselves wings; they fly away like an eagle toward heaven” says Solomon (Prov 23:5).

Satan will show you what you don’t have just as he did to Eve and make you feel miserable and dissatisfied with what you do have, leading to murmuring, displeasing God. We run after status symbols like a bungalow, car, fridge, microwave and what not. Beware of the pride of life (1 Jn 2:16). I am not trying to say that you should not be ambitious. Ambition is good. But do not be over ambitious. Study well, work well, earn well, go to the Gulf or America, build a house. They are not sinful. But in every step allow God to guide you, not mammon.

Satan entered Judas through his carnal desires. He sold his soul for thirty pieces of silver. How many of us are selling our souls for a pittance? Satan pushes you to buy beyond your means and go into credit. Paul was taught by Gamaliel to be content, whatever his circumstances, to be just as happy with little as with much. He had found the recipe for being happy whether full or hungry, hands full or hands empty (Phil 4:11- 12).

If a man could achieve half of his desires, he would double his problems” said Benjamin Franklin. So make a decision not to waste money, hoard things and run after material possessions.

4. Live by Faith.

“The just shall LIVE by faith; but if anyone draws back, my soul has no pleasure in him” (Heb 10:38).

The devil will constantly challenge the faith of a child of God. He told Jesus, “If you are the Son of God…” (Mt 4:3). He will ask you the same. Never, never doubt that you are a child of God, a righteous person, justified by God. Nothing should shake your faith in God. If you fail, run to God. Even if you fail a thousand times run to Him and cry. That’s faith. Otherwise God has no pleasure in you.

Elijah, Jonah and Job all became desperate and sought death. We will also face similar situations in life. When the disciples screamed, “Lord, save us” Jesus was rather irritated. He scolded them saying, “Why are you fearful, O, you of little faith?” Life may push you down the gutter, but keep your head up. That’s faith. Take what life gives you and make the best of it. Be optimistic.

In Galatians 2:20 Paul confesses, “The LIFE which I now live in the flesh, I LIVE by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” Before marriage or after marriage, in all desperate situations think of the One who loved you and gave Himself for you and hold on to your faith. I asked a dear brother who survived the tsunami how he escaped. He said he was thrown against a branch and held on to it when the giant wave pulled him back with a mighty force. Faith is your branch. Hold on to it and nothing can destroy you.

Failure, depression, eve-teasing, ditching, teenage pregnancy, abortion —suicide is no option whatever may be the situation. Have faith. Put behind situations that put you to shame and move forward. There can be new beginnings and second chances all through your life cycle. Have you heard of Mukhtar Mai? Brutally assaulted by higher clan men, the illiterate Pakistani peasant girl was supposed to restore her family’s honour by killing herself. Instead Mukhtar Mai chose to live to fight for justice and to find a better life for women like herself. Her rapists received death sentence. With the five lakhs the government gave, she started a school. Contributions poured in. Now she runs three schools and counsels many women. She constantly lives under the fear of the higher clan Mastois murdering her. She wants to educate illiterate Pakistani girls so they don’t have to go through what she did. Raped girls in Pakistan are killed in the name of honour. But Mukhtar Mai broke that tradition. Turn satan’s onslaughts into achievements. To satan belongs fear, anxiety and negative thoughts. God is never bad, He is always good. Today make a decision never to doubt that you are a child of God and to never let go off your faith.

5. Live Peaceably.

“If it is possible, as much as depends on you, LIVE peaceably with all men” (Rom 12:18).

Good relationship is very very important for a happy life. God has called us to peace (1 Cor 7:15). We need to relate smoothly with our parents, children, siblings, neighbours, friends, life partner and enemies. A few hints to butter your relationship—

Parents—obey them in the Lord. Unless what they demand is outrightly wrong or sinful, obey them.

Children          — do not irritate them
Siblings          — give up
Neighbours     — Be kind and helpful

Friends—accept them as they are. No two individuals are the same. We think, act, speak differently. So don’t expect your friend to be as you.

Life partner  — Do not talk back
Enemies      — Do good for evil

There are some impossible situations which you have to accept. Nothing can be done about it. But from your side go the second mile. Don’t hit back rather discover beauty in everyone. Resist the temptation to give tit for tat. Never, never fight. It spoils peace and takes the zest out of life. “Rejoice in the Lord always” says Paul and in the same breath says, “Let your gentleness be know to all men” (Phil 4:4,5). Do you see how joy and gentleness are related?

Once, before my marriage I was travelling home. When I got down from my upper berth my feet touched a lady’s shoulder who was sitting in the lower berth. She started shouting at me using abusive words. I profusely apologized but she kept lashing her tongue. She raved and ranted till the lights were off. I held my peace. Morning she was in the same sour mood. When the train pulled over in my town my father (a doctor) was there to receive me. He saw the lady and instantly smiled. “Hello, Mary,” he said, “this is my daughter. She is a doctor in the Christian Medical College Hospital, Vellore.” He turned to me and said, “This is Mary, ayah (aid) in my ward.” Her face became black and she quickly walked away. Does she need a greater punishment? “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay” says the Lord (Rom 12:19).

Romans 12:20 means—if you see your enemy’s car broken down, stop and help. If she is struggling to pass a subject, help her. If you find his lost object, hand it over to him. If he is admitted in the hospital, visit him. This does not mean you have to passively accept abuse or being pushed around. Every individual has a right to personal dignity. So be assertive. Put an end to sexual or other harassment. You have the right to say, ‘No’. Report to trusted people and seek help. Don’t commit suicide.

Satan makes you fight for every small thing. But let the love of Christ so fill your heart that you refuse to fight. Learn to control your anger. Make a decision never to fight.

6. Live Quietly.

“He who would love LIFE and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips from speaking deceit” (1 Pet 3:10).

The earlier you learn tongue-control, the better. For,  “Death and LIFE are in the power of the tongue” (Prov 18:21). Tongue is closely related to a good life. It is easy to read the Bible, close it and say, “Lord, you know my weakness.” But the Lord is not going to hear any of it. First stop reviling. If it is a habit with you, go down on your knees. Cry to God and lock your lips. Once you achieve it come to the next step and stop retaliating. Your tongue will twist and turn inside your mouth to lash out. But make the tongue your slave. Now to the third step—bless those who revile you (1 Pet 3:9). It is easier said than done. With men this may be impossible but with God all things are possible.

Tackle one by one—deceit, talking back to parents and superiors, bad language, lying, vain talk, dirty talk, backbiting…When you become a wife you must cultivate the quiet spirit. Win over your husband “without a word” (1 Pet 3:1-5). The beauty of a woman is her gentle and quiet spirit.

James talks about the tongue at length (Js 3). If you learn to control your tongue, you will be in perfect control of your life. It can turn you towards life or towards death like the ship by a small rudder. Taming elephants and lions is easier. The tongue sets on fire the course of nature. But with hard work you can bring it under your control.

“He who guards his mouth preserves LIFE, but he who opens wide his lips shall have destruction” (Prov 13:3). Don’t allow satan to abuse your tongue. Every time you misuse your tongue apologize to God and the victim and make decisions. Right now, close the magazine and put it down. On your knees decide to have absolute control over your tongue. This freedom of tongue cannot go on. Curb it. Bring it to your subjection—so that you may live the abundant life.

7. Live to Lose.

“Whoever desires to save his LIFE will lose it, but whoever loses his LIFE for My sake will find it” (Mt 16:25).


Look at the context. Peter was out and against any suffering for Jesus. Jesus rebuked the satanic suggestion that came through him. Jesus added, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.” That means, saying ‘no’ to self umpteen number of times every day. Modern day prosperity preaching exalts a life without suffering. Jesus taught otherwise. Of the widow, Jesus said, “… out of her poverty she
put in all the LIVELIHOOD that she had” (Lk 21:4). She invested her very life in God’s service. Yes, giving is the best way of living. Jesus was born in a cowshed. Not the clean and beautiful manger you see in the Christmas scene. A
real uncouth cowshed with cowdung and dirt and mosquitos everywhere. He grew up in a poor carpenter’s house with atleast six siblings, worked as a carpenter, had no scooter or car or even a horse or a donkey, walked the streets and died on a cross. He carried the cross from birth to death. Though King, He was a Servant.

Paul proclaims in Philippians 1:21, “To me, to LIVE is Christ, and to die is gain.” He lived for Christ and died for Christ. Christianity is a religion of sacrifice. In Revelation 12:11 we read about martyrs, “They did not love their LIVES to the death.”

Paul tells Timothy, “No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this LIFE, that he may please Him who enlisted him as a soldier” (2 Tim 2:4). When a soldier signs up, he knows his life is not his own. He knows he has signed up to give his life. So what does he do? He doesn’t get caught up in the muddle of life. He lives to   ose his life for his country and for the pay packet. We are God’s soldiers signed up to lose our life for Him. Go for God. Don’t fear those who can kill only the body. Push aside the fears satan throws in your face and march ahead, left right, left  right.

I may never march in the infantry,
Ride in the cavalry,
Shoot in artillery;
I may never fly o’er the enemy,
But I’m in the Lord’s army!

We are born to live, why waste life? Let us live the rich and satisfying life that Jesus came to give and enjoy it.

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