“... work out your own salvation...”
— Philippians 2:12 (NRSV)
God gives us one life to work out—our own. We are responsible for no other life, unless we, for a time, in somebody else’s life, are a guardian. We are only responsible for children until they grow to be autonomous adults.
Now, there are no answers in life other than what we, in our own lives, work out. God blesses an ongoing search, done diligently. In fact, we regress in life when we don’t search.
Working out our lives or not working them out is our choice and diligence finds its legs in taking responsibility.
There is really no sense in not working our lives out, because we are the only ones that suffer, principally, apart from those who rely on us. And if those that rely on us suffer because we aren’t diligent enough, whose true fault is it?
We can take responsibility for these facts of life or we can choose to deny them. It doesn’t really matter, but we are blessed to know that working out our lives is about applying our faith. It’s about doing the work God sets us, by the challenges and opportunities that come our way; those that proffer us toward blessing.
Working Out Life – Making Life Work Out
None of us are passive in our own lives. Even if we are passive and we show little interest in leaving a legacy of who we were in life we actively choose to do such a regretful thing.
We either choose to work our lives out or we don’t—and many, tragically, don’t.
What it means to work our lives out is we earnestly do what we can to make them fruitful exercises of devotion to God, by discovering his will for both our moments and our overall lives and then by doing that discerned will. It’s no good not doing it.
We know when we are doing this because our lives are all about growth and opportunity; we are always open to what God is doing; we anticipate the challenges, or at least we receive them without lasting resentment.
A large part of working out our lives is also grappling with our pasts.
For every reason that we deny our pain we miss our opportunities at healing. Healing is coming home to the truth about our pain and emotional discomfort, in order that we can work out our lives for the better all the more. Healing is a journey and it always gets slowly better.
If we don’t grapple with our pasts the potential for working out our lives will always be limited. The past can be very important in terms of our future.
God gives us one life to work out—our own. We have charge over our lives alone. We have to work with what we have. Our lives are what they are, but they don’t have to remain the way they are. We can have our lives work out however we want. It’s up to us.
© 2013 S. J. Wickham.