The Case against Vanilla

Psalm 33:1-3

I CANNOT IMAGINE ANYTHING more boring and less desirable than being poured into the mold of predictability. Few things interest me less than the routine, the expected, the status quo. A fresh run at life by an untried route will get my vote every time. Stay open-minded for a moment, and I’ll try to show you why.

The late, great John Gardner once pointed out that by their mid-thirties, most people have stopped acquiring new skills and new attitudes in any aspect of their lives. Does that jolt you? Stop and think, you who are over thirty. How long has it been since you acquired a new skill? How many brand-new attitudes have you adopted—personal, political, social, spiritual, financial—since you turned thirty?

The psalmist encouraged people to use their talents of voice and instrument to write new songs of praise to God:

Let the godly sing for joy to the LORD;

it is fitting for the pure to praise him.

Praise the LORD with melodies on the lyre;

make music for him on the ten-stringed harp.

Sing a new song of praise to him;

play skillfully on the harp, and sing with joy.

PSALM 33:1–3

I love Jesus’ radical statement:

The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.

JOHN 10:10

Left to routine, you’ll easily and imperceptibly fall prey to the “thief’s” chief aim: to rob you of your best and most productive years. You’ll settle for the cellar, hiding in the dark moldy basement of security and predictability. Why not come out into the light of abundant living? Pursue the way of Jesus. Accept His approach and live your life with abandon. Don’t be afraid of a few risks. Turn your back on those attitudes and stubborn patterns that prevent you from living a full life.

Come on out of there . . . you could use some sun!

Has God worked in your life in a significant way through Chuck Swindoll and the ministry of Insight for Living? Whatever your story, we’d love for you to tell it to us! Psalm 9:11 tells us to “declare among the peoples His deeds” so others can be encouraged. Submit your story.

Devotional content taken from Good Morning, Lord . . . Can We Talk? by Charles R. Swindoll. Copyright © 2018. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, a division of Tyndale House Ministries. All rights reserved. The full devotional can be purchased at

Posted in Christian Living, God's Will, Leadership and tagged .

Accuracy, clarity, and practicality all describe the Bible-teaching ministry of Charles R. Swindoll. Chuck is the chairman of the board at Insight for Living and the chancellor of Dallas Theological Seminary. Chuck also serves as the senior pastor of Stonebriar Community Church in Frisco, Texas, where he is able to do what he loves most—teach the Bible to willing hearts. His focus on practical Bible application has been heard on the Insight for Living radio broadcast since 1979.