Don’t Die By The Checklist

A husband comes home from work. He is greeted at the door by his wife. She is wearing a poodle skirt and pearls, the house is clean and smells nice, dinner is ready and on the table, his clothes are washed, ironed, and put away, and his clothes for the next day are even sitting out over a chair. He sits down to eat and looks across the table at his wife and he says “I love you…” to which she responds with a blank stare with empty eyes and says… nothing.

Hopefully this is an illustration that a relationship is much more than a “check list” of things to do. All of those things might be what some men might want in a wife, but if the passion and genuine joy (even if only every once in a while) of being together isn’t there, it’s a miserable failure…


Are you the kind of person who makes checklists? I know that a lot of people live by lists, I am not one of them. Don’t get me wrong, they are extremely useful and I do use lists to be sure I get everything done (actually I use Producteev and think it’s a very good program, and it’s free, get it), but for me, I have to force myself to put the list together.

The life that God intended you to have through His Son Jesus is much more than a “checklist” of dos and don’ts.

Do you ever find yourself just going through the motions?

  • Bible read “check”
  • Prayed “check”
  • Attended Church “check”
  • tithe given “che… oops, well close enough”

Do you ever ask yourself “is there more to following Jesus than all this?” the answer is YES!

You might be a list-maker and if so, you probably want to put “Read Bible” and “Pray” on that list… there’s nothing wrong with that, but you need to be sure to take time to think and meditate on what you read. To respond to God based on what he is saying to you, what you read, what your friends and family are going through.

For years I’ve used ACTS in my prayer life, it might help you.

  • Adoration
  • Confession
  • Thanksgiving
  • Supplication

This acrostic might help you to slow down and think things through.

Listen to what the Psalmist has to say:

How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word. With my whole heart I seek you; let me not wander from your commandments! I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you. Blessed are you, O Lord; teach me your statutes! With my lips I declare all the rules of your mouth. In the way of your testimonies I delight as much as in all riches. I will meditate on your precepts and fix my eyes on your ways. I will delight in your statutes; I will not forget your word.

-Psalm 119:9-16

This is not a simple unfeeling checklist of “keep way pure… check” but this is a relationship full of the desire to get closer to the one he loves. This is the kind of opportunity we have as followers of Jesus… a close, personal, individual (yet also corporate) give-and-take with almighty God.

It’s not just the task of reading your Bible, it’s a treasure-trove of nuggets, each of which bring you closer to the heart of the Father. It is getting to know Him and providing more of the “raw material” that the Holy Spirit uses to change your life, really change your life, for good.

Don’t just check a box, soak in your time with God, and don’t let it in. Don’t ever stop thinking about and rejoicing in the relationship you are afforded through Jesus (cf. Phil 4:4-9).

What about you?

Have you ever taken your relationship with God, through Jesus, for granted?

How is your interaction with Jesus like other relationships, how is it different?

What can we do to “keep the fire” in this relationship?

About John Harris

I don't know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.
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