KICK START QUESTION: HOW DO I KNOW I’M ON GOD’S PATH?
From a Christian worldview, there is one sure way to discover whether you are on God’s path or not: Open up a Gospel in the Bible (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John), learn about the life and way of Jesus, and then ask yourself if your lived life looks anything like his.
It really can be that easy. And impossibly hard. These are just a few of the markers I have found on the path of God through Jesus while reading the Gospels in this way, and they can act as way-finding signs for you on the journey:
- Do you have a tangible-genuine relationship with God the Father where you spend time with Him?
- Are you bringing healing and sustenance to the hurting, broken and marginalized of society?
- Are you regularly sacrificing your time, talent and resources for the good of others?
- Do you converse, eat with, and even love those who position themselves as your enemy?
- Are you living in authentic community with others who are trying to follow the same path in mutual relationships of giving and receiving?
- Does your way of life challenge unjust institutional systems that hurt people or act as barriers to the love of God? Even if they are “religious” systems? Even if they are potentially your own workplace, church or family?
- Do you value people over things? Experiences with humanity over stuff?
- Would you say your life is characterized primarily as love? If love is defined as patience, kindness, generosity, self-sacrifice, humility, protection of weak, trust and hope all working together?
- Do you regularly challenge people and inspire them to greater heights in life—and these “greater heights” being the upside down Kingdom of God where the humble are exalted?
- Would people say your life is joy-filled, characterized by ceasing, feasting, resting and enjoying all of life?
But don’t take it from me! Create your own list of the Way or Path of Jesus. And do so with two others, learning from and challenging one another.
Here’s the thing though, if your personal inventory does not match up with what you find in the life of Jesus, do not be discouraged or feel overwhelmed. The fun is in the growth, in the learning and failing, simply start down the path one step at a time.