By Derek Maul

Derek Maul has written columns for many news outlets, including the Tampa Tribune, The United Methodist News Service, All Pro Dad and FOCUS Magazine. His features have been published in Newsweek, USA Today, The Christian Science Monitor, Presbyterians Today, Guideposts, Chicken Soup for the Soul and many other publications.

Welcome to “Live Like You Mean It,” a new column about what it means to experience the fully engaged Christian life.

If I had to identify one filter through which I pour the majority of my writing, it would be the following passage from First Timothy: “Command [people] to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life” (6:18-19).

My primary interest as a columnist is this idea of “The life that is truly life.” However, having been around church since childhood, I have observed little widespread evidence of what Jesus describes as abundant life. “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full” (John 10:10).

This is an especially challenging question during the time known as “Lent,” the weeks leading up to the celebration of Easter. Jesus was willing to take a deliberate journey to Jerusalem, crystal clear in his heart and mind regarding what would happen when he arrived.

Surely Christ didn’t willingly go to the cross so that his followers could merely check “attend church” off their list before returning to uninspired lives of business as usual?

No, Jesus means to shake things up, and to disrupt the status quo.

In my latest book, 10 Life-Charged Words, being released in June 2012, I quote Henry David Thoreau’s lament concerning his belief that most people fall short when it comes to the life that is truly life. “The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them” (Walden, 1854).

My mission through writing is a positive response to the “live like we mean it” imperative. God wants us to experience a life defined by fullness. Life-charged people let their song find its voice.

Or expressed in another way, “The content of this column is about the process of Letting Life Loose.”

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