‘Do’ versus ‘Live’

“There is a huge difference between Christianity viewed as something to do versus something to live. The word “do” implies rules, regulations, and sheer obedience. “Live,” on the other hand, calls to mind holism, groundedness, and thoughtfulness – it implies organic rhythms and routines.” – Todd Hunter (Giving Church Another Chance, Chapter 1)

For instance we do our quiet times of prayer or Bible study thinking that “now I’ve got to get back to the real business of real life in the rough and tumble work life”. This pattern often leads to what Henry David Thoreau suggested: Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them. On the other hand, seeing Christian spirituality as whole-life, as including quiet time, but not being reduced to it, releases the Spirit-song in us. It teaches us that the grounds for spiritual development into Christlikeness and the most effective soil for spiritual practices are the people and events of our daily lives as we presently experience them.

A focus on life does this: the silence one may practice in the morning becomes, imperceptibly over time, an inner quality of being—gentle, humble, present, alert—that ones takes with them into the rhythms and routines of their existing life.

So sure—do quiet time, etc…but live a life as a follower of Jesus—and do it in such a way that others experience your life as for their good.

– Todd Hunter