“And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” (Colossians 3:17)
Sometimes a friend asks us how we are doing and we say, “Fine, I’m fine,” when we don’t really mean it. We may tell a teacher or our boss, “Fine, I’ll take on this project,” when inside we are rolling our eyes and wondering how on earth we will get it done by the deadline.
How can we actually be fine? Use this approach to remember how to live the fully abundant life of Christian faith. In order to best pursue the vocation God has created for us, we need to be healthy as individuals. The F.I.N.E concept is F for Faith, I (as in “Me”), N is for Needs, and E is for Expectation.
F is for Faith
Having God at the center of our lives is critical because we are not aiming for a moving target! God is constant. Christ is at the center of everything we do. The letters of the circle must be kept in the proper order. If we aim for any other goal, (mix up the letters in the F.I.N.E. analogy) we will miss the mark.
I as in ME
After putting God in the center, we next must care for ourselves in order to be whole and healthy. Am I eating right? Am I getting enough sleep?
N is for Needs
Next, how can I reach out to the support people in my life and ask for their help? It’s not wrong to have needs, and it’s okay to ask the people we love for help. We can ask ourselves these questions: What are my physical needs? What are my emotional needs? How can I get these needs met? And then perhaps most important – Whose needs am I taking care of instead of my own?
E for Expectation
This is the fun part! Once we have considered how to care for ourselves well (it doesn’t have to be perfect), we can look ahead to the lives God has planned for us. This is exciting! We were not meant to live a life of mere existence, just going through the motions. We were meant to live a life of joyful expectation, trusting God has great promises of good waiting for us to live the life He has created for us. An abundant life in Christ is not an easy life – far from it. An abundant life is a life of trust.
Heavenly Father, I often say I am “fine” when I’m really not. Help me be humble and admit when I need help. Use other people around me to serve me and help me when I need it. Guide me in putting my life priorities in the right order. Thank you for loving me through this process. In your holy name I pray, Amen.
An excellent Lutheran resource about vocation: God at Work: Your Christian Vocation in All of Life by Gene Edward Veith.