Monday, May 4, 2009

Life Verses – Special Calling or More Christian Conformity?

My niece graduated from a Christian high school, and each yearbook photo included the student’s “life verse” alongside his or her name and accomplishments. The idea of claiming a life verse at that point seemed both encouraging and absurd – encouraging that students were beginning to see specific callings and directions for their lives; absurd that someone’s life purpose could be reduced to a single verse, especially when so little of that person’s life had already been lived at that point.

I have since gained a better appreciation for life verses and have even claimed one of my own: Romans 12:2, “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of the world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. . . .” (NIV). It seems that no matter what God has called me to do at each stage of my life, it involves using my mind and doing things that aren’t considered popular.

Speaking of what’s popular, I noticed in my niece’s yearbook that even certain “life verses” were more popular than others. Multiple students claimed verses like Jeremiah 29:11 or Philippians 4:13. No one seemed to want Acts 9:16 or Matthew 8:20. Even Exodus 31:3 and Song of Songs 7:8 (which may better state many teenage boys’ goals!) were missing from the list. I wonder why, if God made each of us unique, most of us tend to identify with the same few verses – and evidently the same purpose or calling – as so many others.

What about you? If you have a life verse, how did you choose it? How does it fit your unique personality and calling?

7 comments:

  1. I need to post about this as my response would be even more lengthy than my normally lengthy comments. ;) There's nothing like blogging in someone else's comment box! ;)
    I do have a life verse which the Lord gave to me in our sophomore year at GCC, "The mind of man plans his way, but the LORD directs his steps." Proverbs 16:9 There are so many awesome verses though that have carried me through. I am always on the lookout for some obscure verse nobody's ever noticed before. Those are hard to find!

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  2. If you had asked me back then, I probably would have said my verse was Ecclesiastes 12:12 --"There is no end to books, and too much study will wear you out" (CEV). I think someone posted it on the quote board outside our door in the Mole Hole.

    I look forward to reading your full post!

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  3. That's hysterical! :) But oh so true! ;)

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  4. I don't think that any one verse really covers a whole life. The "life verse" thing has never really meant anything to me.

    There have been different times of my life when one verse or another has really reached up and hit me, but those vary over time.

    Asked recently if I had a favorite Bible verse, my answer was that I don't, and since God gave us all of the Scripture, it didn't seem like a good use of time to choose one.

    (Of course, I also considered choosing one of the mildew regulations just as a joke ...)

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  5. My thoughts exactly Wickle!

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  6. I'm so glad you wrote about this because I always wonder the same thing too? How do I find my life verse? There are so many I love, how do I choose? It's a conundrum...

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  7. Reminds me, I never liked when couples claim songs for themselves either. Only appropriate if they wrote or sing that song.

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Thanks for your comments! Agree or disagree, but please comment respectfully.