1. Start with God, because God starts w/ God.
This is both a personal and a professional plumb line. Personally it gives me a relational border and reminder. It is like praying the Lord’s prayer, “Your Kingdom come,” I am forced to remember that it is not my kingdom that will bring wholeness to the world, but His. That impacts the way I walk and the people I walk with. God is always first.
It also establishes my philosophical and theological a priori. God is my starting point. I assume that God exists, the God of the Bible, because God assumes that He exists. What I find is that this is a much better starting point than assuming that you or I can properly access all things. We are fools and starting with ourselves always ends up in foolish places. Starting with God leads to goodness to me and through me into my world.
Just a thought on the professional impact of this plumb line. I have sat for years on what my denomination calls an ordination council. That means I am part of a group of men and women who inquire about the character and understanding of one desiring to be ordained, or affirmed, as a pastor or ministry leader. One of the main things I look for is – do they start with God? Do they answer from God’s Word? Do they even know God’s Word? Far too many do not. They rely on their own cleverness and education.
Any minister who does not start with God as God has revealed Himself in the Bible is a dangerous substitute for the real thing.
Here is the deal. I think I am quite clever and I have little lights shining on diplomas, meaning I am proud of my education. So, in avoidance of becoming a great potential danger to my church whom I love – I start with God, because God starts with God.