What is a life hack (LH)? A life hack is a convenient piece of useful actional advice. It is a helpful shortcut, innovation, or method that increases productivity, efficiency, and effectiveness. LHs are often clever tips or techniques for making a familiar task intuitively easier or more manageable and desirable.
The best LHs are doable and often disarmingly obvious. A LH can be a neat way of folding clothes, making the bed, or being successful. Or it can be applied in more complex contexts, such as losing weight, investing money, or leading organizations. LHs can be applied to anything from skills, smarts, and scholarships to spirituality.
One can get misled with LHs, however, if they become manipulative, unethical, or obsessive. Their usefulness is that they can facilitate a positive and moral outcome. LHs can lead to desirable results for progressive believers. They can help us to better understand and practice principles to actively improve our Christian walk.
Everyone has their own unique way of knowing, loving, and serving God.
So how can we utilize the LH concept and positively apply it to the principles of Christian living? Here are at least three ways the LH concept may be useful to Christians:
1. Create Spiritual LHs: Everyone has their own unique way of knowing, loving, and serving God. Paul says: “Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure” (Phil. 2:12, 13). Understand what’s effective in your spiritual walk, work it out in life, and make it a spiritual LH. Whether it is Bible study, prayer, prophecy, or dealing with death and doubt, figure out what works and how you can share it with others.
2. Develop Strategic LHs: Creatively demonstrate how spiritual truth can lead you deeper into the things of God. This is not a superficial biblical perusal. Rather, it is the thoughtful meditations of mature Christians who have experienced the deep insights of the Word under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. They have come through spiritual warfare and developed stratagems for victory. David understood this when he said: “Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who trusts in Him!” (Ps. 34:8).
3. Extract Practical LHs: The Adventist Church is blessed with the gift of prophecy (Rev. 19:10), evident in the ministry of Ellen G. White. Her writings are filled with practical LHs that reveal the richness of the Christian experience. Read these writings and make your own list of LHs that you can gather from her writings. Here are a few Ellen White quotes that can be considered LHs:
Delete pride and selfishness, and five minutes can solve most difficulties—Early Writings, p. 119.1
Follow eight natural health habits as an antidote to disease—The Ministry of Healing, p. 127.2
Pray daily to release providence in your life—Steps to Christ, p. 70.3
Relate to others as Christ did for cross-cultural ministry success—The Ministry of Healing, p.143.4
May your life hacks be a means of drawing others to Christ.
Delbert W. Baker, Ph.D., a minister and educator, has recently returned to the United States from a five-year tenure as president/vice chancellor of the Adventist University of Africa in Nairobi, Kenya.