Monday, December 31, 2007

A Statement of Intent

I've been thinking recently how restrictive a 'Statement of Faith' is. On the one hand it does clarify what you believe. But on the negative side it reduces life to ticking the right boxes. "Yeah, I believe all that, so that makes me a [insert tag here]." A statement of faith is actually a statement that things will never change - you've reached your goal, you've done it all, there's nothing else left to say.

I'm very suspicious of people who make claims like that.

What I'd prefer is a "Statement of Intent" - not 'this is what I believe', but 'this is how I'm going to live'. So I've made a start. It's a bit grandiose in parts, but it's only a start, and it will no doubt evolve. It''s not an unchanging statement of faith after all.

In fact you could say the following "Statement of Intent" is too broad. Perhaps it ought to have actual specific behaviours listed - but the problem with that is, as religion always shows us, when you proscribe too heavily, people still find the wiggle room (whether it's Popes breaking faith with heretics, or a rabbi making his fifteenth "Sabbath Journey" of the day).

Broad strokes don't give you that weasel way out. And because this is my self-declared statement of intent, then it's binding to me. I've said this and unless I unsay it, it's how I intend to live.

My statement of intent

“I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”

I will listen for the still, small voice.

I will put all I have at the disposal of the one who truly owns it.

I will use my skills and abilities and hone them in His service.

I will humbly seek instruction in the things that I cannot yet do.

I will endeavour to make the world a better place.

I will seek to add value to the lives of those around me.

I will try to consider the needs of others as if they were my own.

I will stand up for what is right, even if I stand alone (for I can never stand alone, if He stands with me).

I will speak out for those who cannot – or dare not – speak out.

I will defend those who are weaker than me.

I will stand up with courage to those who are stronger than me.

I will be a light shining in the darkness…

…and the darkness will not overcome me.

I will remember the Name of the One who saves me.

“I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous2/1/08 19:31

    Hey Jon, Justin here. I really like what you've done - a bit more meaningful than having new year's resolutions (that are inevitably broken by the second week of January). I've had similar thoughts myself about doing a personal 'manifesto', but you've kinda done it for me...might borrow what you've done if you don't mind ;-). I've also been meaning to draw up my own personal values - a sort of 'statement of values' I guess - that I'd like to try and live by as well as pass on to my kids