For a while now, I have seen that there are six basic resources for living life. Recently, I have begun to see the need to include a seventh—namely, passions. This one would be our capacity to pour our hearts into some work or idea with zeal—our drive, if you will. With this new addition to the list, I believe it now covers just about everything in life when life is considered in this way.
Here is the full list of these life-resources:
In my ponderings of these resources, I have observed a number of truths about them. Here are some of my thoughts:
First, while there is often some overlap of these things, they are, in fact, distinct from one another. For example, at first glance we might think of ‘opportunity’ as being merely the aggregate of several of the other things already in the list, but it is more than that. A person could have all the other six in just the right ways and amounts for a certain purpose or undertaking in life and still lack the opportunity.
Second, each of us has these things in some finite measure. Everyone has a least a little of each. But no one has any of them in an infinite amount. If you think your way through the list, one by one, you will see that this is true. We all have some time, but nobody has all the time in the universe, and so forth.
Third, these seven resources are, in part, what the New Testament refers to as the stoicheia, the “elementary things” (Galatians 4:3,9; Colossians 2:8; Hebrews 5:12; II Peter 3:10,12). The stoicheia are the fundamental building blocks of reality in this world. They include more than our list of seven resources, of course. For example, basic ideas of morality and justice inherent in all people are also part of the stoicheia. But these seven things are that portion of the stoicheia which could be called our basic resources for the practical living of life every day.
Fourth, the powers of this world are the various structures and institutions which use the stoicheia (while simultaneously being partly composed of the stoicheia) both to make the world function and also to dominate the world and those who dwell in it. These seven resources are what God has given us to serve Him in this world. By our use of them, we help to enact His kingdom here in the fallen domain of the powers through a beautiful and mysterious paradox of submission and subversion to those powers.
And finally, when we stand before the Lord in the judgment, He will evaluate the use each of us has made of these seven resources according to the ways and amounts in which He has given them to us.
There is much more to say about all of this, but this should do for now.
I welcome anyone’s thoughts.