Home christian living Life Doesn’t Have Optional Voids: How to Produce Fruit as a Christian

Life Doesn’t Have Optional Voids: How to Produce Fruit as a Christian

by Kelly Crawford

“If you don’t read good books, you will read bad ones. If you don’t go on thinking rationally, you will think irrationally. If you reject aesthetic satisfaction, you will fall into sensual satisfactions.” -C.S. Lewis

I think a lot about deliberate living. This is why. This quote confirms the teaching of Scripture: If you don’t seek what is good on purpose, you will gravitate to what is bad by default. The spirit of the flesh is at war with the spirit of God within us.

And this is exactly why we are saved by grace, taking NO credit for our own salvation, and are still commanded to “seek what is good,” meaning, that it behooves us to produce the good fruit of our faith. We are urged to “train ourselves for godliness.” (1 Timothy 4:7) It is the mark of a believer.

In other words, “LIFE DOESN’T HAVE OPTIONAL VOIDS.” (Sandra Boswell)

Faithfulness on purpose or infidelity by default. Good books/music on purpose, or bad ones by default. Virtue on purpose, or vulgarity by default.

The “default” is the baseness of our nature…that “flesh that wars within me” that Paul and all of us wrestle with. Scripture says we must put those things to death.

This isn’t legalism. When Paul said, “Whatever things are true, whatever things are honest, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure…if there be any virtue, if there be any praise, think on these things.

Paul was saying,


Paul knew what Lewis knew–if you don’t think on these things, you will think on their opposites.

“Take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.”

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brenda May 14, 2011 - 9:20 am

So true. And that kind of makes me think of “there is no such thing as neutral education.” It’s either about God or it’s about the opposite. Right?

I Live in an Antbed May 14, 2011 - 10:18 am

Preach it!! Hahaha! This is such an important principle. Every choice we make reveals our character. Every one. And when seen from that context, all those seemingly meaningless choices suddenly become important. My dad used to say that if we chose the very best in each choice, we would look much more like Christ. Asking the Lord what He wants us to focus on in each moment weeds out the things that really don’t deserve our time and attention. Thank you! Still praying for all of you! 🙂

Amy May 14, 2011 - 11:46 am

So true! This is a lesson God has been impressing upon my heart over the past year and I’m finding that as I live each day more deliberately, God has changed my life and taught me things I never would have dreamed.

the cottage child May 14, 2011 - 12:48 pm

I like the word “deliberate” much more than the much heard of late “intentional” – there’s a level of responsibility and gravity to deliberate, while intentional seems to have a taste of “well, I meant to do x but…” – optional, maybe? That’s probably my mind playing tricks on me – love this, though, and it is a needed reminder this very day! Thank you, praying for you!

Living Deliberately or Living by Default? May 14, 2011 - 2:24 pm

[…] encourage you to head on over to Generation Cedar to read Kelly’s post today.  And remember her when you pray.  Two weeks after giving birth to her 9th child, they lost […]

Ruth Adams May 14, 2011 - 7:10 pm

Amen! Very well put.

Lori E. May 14, 2011 - 10:35 pm

I just had pretty much the same conversation with my 12 yr old son yesterday! Thanks for the back up Kelly!

Linnie Lues May 15, 2011 - 8:09 am

Excellent posting!

Susan McCurdy May 15, 2011 - 9:39 am

Thank you so much for sharing these truths! I have been rumbling around in my own head after reading a chapter on “Legalism” in Martha Peace’s new book “Damsel’s in Distress”. I agree with what she said but it still left me wondering how many people are so afraid of being called a legalist that they leave off doing anything deliberately for fear they are “legalistic”. You are a blessing to share to what God showed you and I will use these thoughts in speaking to my kids this week. We have been dealing with a church discipline issue. There are people who love mercy and want to show it but also know you can’t just white wash sin. It needs to be blood washed with true repentance and not ignored. There also has to be reconciliation to the local body of believers. So thank you for your ministry to the body of Christ.

Michelle May 24, 2011 - 10:10 pm

If this isn’t motivating to keep pursuing righteousness and persevere in fostering righteousness in our children-I’m not sure what is, outside of the complete Word of God, that is!

Great Post!


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