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Get Busy Living or Accept Dying?

The most iconic movie in my lifetime is Shawshank Redemption. While Shawshank Redemption didn’t do exceedingly well at the box office in 1994, this film has developed a cult following today. There are several scenes that you may replay in your mind, but the attached clip is by far the most powerful. As Andy and Red talk about what they will do if they get out of prison, the scene is set for the classic line “Get busy living or get busy dying?”

So, since Christ suffered in the flesh [a]for us, for you, arm yourselves with the same thought and [b]purpose [patiently to suffer rather than fail to please God]. For whoever has suffered in the flesh [having [c]the mind of Christ] is done with [intentional] sin [has stopped pleasing himself and the world, and pleases God], 1 Peter 4:1.

You don’t have to go to prison to feel hopeless inside. During my final summer as a college student, I had become a full-blown hypocrite, James 1:14-15. Bad choices, poor decisions and sinful habits caused my relationship with God to come to a screeching halt. After breaking my ankle playing sand volleyball, I laid in bed for two weeks contemplating my future. I was experiencing a crisis of faith where I had to decide. Get busy living the abundant life promised in John 10:10 or accept an eternity separated from God?

So that he can no longer spend the rest of his natural life living by [his] human appetites and desires, but [he lives] for what God wills, 1 Peter 4:2.

Based upon the passage above, one of Jesus’ disciples had his own inner demons to overcome. Following his last recorded conversation with Jesus in John 21:15-19, Peter had his own Andy Dufresne moment. Instead of dreaming about starting over in Mexico, Peter was sick and tired of wasting his spiritual potential on natural appetites, cravings, and desires. For Christians, there is only one way to get busy living. When you discover God’s will for your life and uncover spiritual gifts and talents, hope becomes a reality, Romans 12:1-2.

by Jay Mankus

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