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Beyond Survival Mode

Jesus invites us into a vibrant, passionate life.
Beyond Survival Mode

Bills to pay. Dishes to clean. Calls to return. Rooms to vacuum. Meetings to attend. Homework to help with. Mouths to feed. Projects to finish.

Welcome to survival mode.

The demands of everyday existence can so easily suck away our joie de vivre, leaving us too tired for excitement, too worn out for wonder, and too complacent for passion. Without even realizing it, we fall into a lull of living that isn’t so much as it is just getting by. The daily grind can wear on our souls and siphon away our emotional energy, leaving us in a holding pattern of lackluster living.

We misunderstand the Christian life if we think it’s primarily about an escape plan into an amazing afterlife, the reward for trudging through an earthly life of drudgery.

But lackluster? Complacent? Indifferent? When I meet Jesus in Scripture, he is anything but apathetic. I can’t imagine Jesus trying to just get through a day or merely going through the motions in a haze of exhaustion. Was he ever busy or physically tired or emotionally worn thin? Certainly. But Jesus didn’t coast through life on neutral, half-living. Jesus lived life to the fullest. And he invites us into this , into .

We misunderstand the Christian life if we think it’s primarily about an escape plan into an amazing afterlife, the reward for trudging through an earthly life of drudgery. Yes, heaven is our glorious hope, but the life we find in Christ doesn’t start when we die. The eternal life we find begins here, is now. In Jesus, we discover that daily life is meaningful, shocked with color and full of hidden beauties. In Jesus, we’re given reason to be thankful, motivation to be generous, enthusiasm to love. In Jesus, we find purpose behind our pain and significance for even the mundane tasks of daily living.

Of course, following Jesus doesn’t magically insulate us from the wear and tear of daily life. But in Jesus we find compelling reason to live differently, to live passionately.

How can you live life to the fullest?

  • Flip “finding your passion” on its head. Living your life’s calling isn’t all about you. In “Do You Need a Broken Heart?” Reneé Stearns invites us to move from an inward-looking focus to instead begin with this question as our starting point: “What does God deeply care about?”
  • Work passionately. Some women are energized by their daily work, while for others work feels like the main drain on their passion and energy. In “Sustaining Passion for Your Day Job,” Maggie Johnson unpacks what it takes to intentionally maintain enthusiasm and engagement in your daily work.
  • Love passionately. Our closest relationships often pay the highest price when the daily grind wears us down and we slip into survival mode. Push back by choosing to invest in your marriage; in “13 Ways to Boost the Passion in Your Bedroom,” top Christian counselors and marriage experts highlight their best advice for fostering more excitement and satisfaction in your intimate life. It can also take intentionality—and guts!— to love our kids well. In “Releasing Your Inner Mama Bear,” Margot Starbuck examines what it looks like to love our kids with courage and ferocity.
  • Savor each moment. Daily life, for all its challenges, is jam-packed with reasons to delight and beauties to celebrate. In “Savor Your Everyday Life,” Shauna Niequist explores the importance of pausing to reflect on—and cherish—life’s everyday goodness.
  • Ground your identity in the ultimate passion: God’s love for you. In “Do You Really Believe God Loves You?” Holley Gerth draws our attention to the powerful that ultimately shows us who we really are.

Are you tired of survival mode? Sick of living a worn-out half-life? Heed these words from The Message paraphrase of Paul’s letter to the Colossians:

Don’t shuffle along, eyes to the ground, absorbed with the things right in front of you. Look up, and be alert to what is going on around Christ—that’s where the action is. See things from his perspective.

Your old life is dead. Your new life, which is your real life—even though invisible to spectators—is with Christ in God. He is your life. (Colossians 3:1–3)


Read more articles that highlight writing by Christian women at ChristianityToday.com/Women

Kelli B. Trujillo

Kelli B. Trujillo is editor of Today’s Christian Woman. Follow her on Twitter at @kbtrujillo or @TCWomancom.

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Heaven; Jesus Christ; Love; Passion; Purpose; Work
Today's Christian Woman, March Week 3, 2015
Posted March 18, 2015

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