John Ed Mathison headshot

John Ed Mathison

We have two choices for living life – by the standards of the world or the Word. Every person chooses which one to trust for making decisions. In Romans 12, Paul reminds us that we should “not let the world squeeze us into its mold. Rather we should transform the world by the renewing of our minds.” Those two words – Word and world – they represent two different ways to live our lives.

I find it interesting that the two words, world and Word, are almost spelled alike. The only difference is that world has an “L.” They are so close in spelling – yet so far apart in their meaning. Let me try something. What if the “L” in world could represent words that are a part of the core values of the Word. I think it might give us some insight as to how the Word can shape the world.

Let L stand for LOVE

The Bible teaches us that God so loved the world that he sent his Son. (John 3:16) Our possibilities for life came because of the love of God.

I Corinthians 13 is the picture of the way the Word sees love. It is an accurate translation of the meaning of love. Love is the basis of the first two great commandments – loving God and loving our fellow man. The world sees love as feelings - lust and immorality. The Word sees love through the lens of 1 Corinthians 13.

Let L stand for LIVE

The Word gives us a clear understanding of what it means to live. We only have one life – we need to make it count. (John 10:10)

Jesus said if we really want to find victory in living, then we have to lose our life in serving. The world teaches the selfish approach to the need for being served. This relegates life to its lowest level. The Word teaches that losing our lives in serving Him helps us discover life in its greatest dimension. Life is in serving, not being served. Life is in giving, not getting.

Let L stand for LIMITS

The world teaches us about the limits of what can be accomplished. For many people that becomes a mindset. The Word teaches us that there are no limits to any situation when God is involved. The world likes to list the things that are impossible. The Word teaches us “with man, some things are impossible – but with God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26).

While the world is defining what we can’t do, the Word is redefining what God can do! The world operates on the core value of problems – the Word operates on the core value of possibilities.

Let L stand for LAUGHTER

The world would prefer to create an atmosphere that is morbid, pessimistic, defeated, anxious, and depressing. The Word comes and offers us excitement and hope for each new day. Laughing releases endorphins that bring about better mental and physical heath. Laughter is a great release form tensions of things that don’t really exist. Laughter is contagious.

I invite you to pick some words that begin with “L” that demonstrate this difference. Words like listen, light, learn – you add some others. Go to the Word – write down the differences.

Life is a choice. Two words are spelled almost alike – but on opposite ends of the spectrum for how life can be lived. Every person picks one or the other. It’s your choice.

Contributing Writer