Life is an accumulation of one's choices. Both the good and the bad things are the result of repeated choices over the days, weeks, months, and years of your life. You reap what you sow - for good and for ill.

Like Caleb of the Old Testament (Numbers 13, 14; Joshua 14) who lived life to the fullest, you, too, can maintain a faith-based optimism, a give-me-this-moment attitude, and a soft heart of gratefulness and servanthood. Caleb was one of 12 spies sent by Moses into Canaan. He and Joshua were the only two who returned with an accurate report of the obstacles ahead of them - and with great faith, implored the Israelites to trust God for protection.

How to live like Caleb:

* Avoid gossip. Find good news about other people. Believe the best rather than assume the worst. Spread good rumors and avoid judgmental condemnation. Gossip diminishes your worth because you live at the expense of others - tearing them down by saying, I may not be much, but at least I'm not as bad as that guy.

* Release bitterness. Don't blame others, and don't walk around waiting for someone to apologize to you. Caleb and Joshua could have exhausted themselves in bitterness by blaming the 10 disbelieving spies. Instead, they seem to have released the people who hurt them, and in so doing they liberated their own souls.

* Take risks. Step out in faith, believing in God. Caleb gave the report, Let's go for it - we can certainly take this land (Nu. 13:30). The others cowered in fear of exaggerated giants.

* Trust. Living a life of worry guarantees a sad life. When you try to be God by grabbing control, you shrivel because you cannot bear the weight. You can live comfortably with the unknown when you choose to trust God.

* Don't live for stuff. Keep materialism in check. When you live for the accumulation of things - either by purchasing these things or by constantly longing for what you can't afford - you become a shrinking soul.

* Master your appetite. If you are controlled by your cravings your spiritual capacity will lessen - because food, lust, or other unchecked desires will take over. Caleb attended to the physical as well as the spiritual discipline; how else could he have said, I'm just as strong today as when we left Egypt 45 years ago (Josh. 14:11).

* Grow deep. Spend time thinking about the meaning of life. Build your life on a firm theological and philosophical foundation. Think of the important things and don't burn up your intellectual energies on monumental facts such as sports scores or the weather.

* Live today. Celebrate the past, embrace the present, and anticipate the future. Learn from the past but don't live there. Recognize that the good old days are never going to return and maybe weren't as good as you recall. Engage fully in this day.

* Think globally. Realize that God is Lord and creator of the the diversity He made, and reach out to serve His world.

Return to inspiration page