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Tell Me What You Think...

Tell Me What You Think
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Recently, I read a quote from Elisabeth Elliot that said this:
A sloppy life is the sign of a sloppy faith.
Wow. Tough words, no? In light of the post I wrote on Monday and some of the thoughts I've shared with you here and here, for example, you know that I have definitely lived a sloppy life. I think I agree with her, but her words hit me pretty hard.

What do you think about this statement?


Anonymous said...

The first question I would ask is is the converse of that statement also true? Does a neat, tidy life signify a neat, tidy faith?

While I loosly agree with Elizabeth's statement, I think we need to be careful lest we become overly dogmatic with ourselves and others. God is certainly the God of order. I think we can all agree that having an orderly home and life is mentally, emotionally, and spiritually freeing. But there is so much subjectivity in life and biblical faith that what looks to me like sloppieness might be to someone else perfect harmony- a scenerio where faith thrives and abounds. I think there is also a real danger of fostering superficiallity in faith when elevating these sorts of statements to an innappropriate level. God calls us to love Him and love others. That is our standard of faith. An orderly life and home can very well be the sign of great faith, but it can very well be the sign of the opposite. I know that has been the truth for me.

Good question, Briana!
Cynthia Mickler

Brianna @ Heart(h) Management said...

Hmmmm. Good thoughts, Cynthia. I agree that just because you live an orderly life does NOT mean your faith is in the right place.

For some a perfect house is an idol. So, that isn't right either.

"I think there is also a real danger of fostering superficiallity in faith when elevating these sorts of statements to an innappropriate level." --Good point.

Erin said...

I also agree, but only to a point. I think we can use perfectionism to feel like we've "got it all together", when in reality, we're doing it all on our own effort. The biggest times I've seen the Lord move in my life is through the messes - physical and spiritual. Its easy to cultivate pride when everything is "neat and tidy" and going as we deem it should, but that's not faith. Faith is trusting God through the messes and despite the messes, at times. Though, I don't think that remaining in a state of continued "mess" glorifies God, either (ala Romans 6). So, that's my wordy way of saying "yes and no" ;-)

Brianna @ Heart(h) Management said...

Yes, Erin. I'm very prone to perfectionism. All or nothing. And I'm also very prone to trying to do things on my own effort. AND, I'm also very, very prone to pride. It's the single biggest sin I struggle with. No doubt.

Trying to find a balance between honoring him with excellence and discipline in my life while trusting in Him alone and not my own strength is certainly a challenge.

TexasRed said...

I agree more with the other comments than with the original quote.

From the outside, it would be easy to see Jesus's life and the original 12 apostles' lives as "sloppy." After all, they left steady jobs to wander around the countryside riling up the population with new ideas and not knowing where their next meals were coming from -- just to end (often) in horrible early deaths.

On the other hand, I believe God calls some people to specialize in living precise lives that are the opposite of "sloppy" (for instance, the guys keeping records in the Old Testament of genealogy, specifications for the Temple, etc.

Brianna @ Heart(h) Management said...

TexasRed, another good example of a life that could look sloppy! But I think we could all agree that nothing about Jesus' life was sloppy. He lived with a precise intentionality to all that He did.

I think it would be valuable to be able to ask Elisabeth Elliot to clarify and expound upon her quote. LOL.

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