A Rule of Life

We all have a sense that living well doesn’t happen by accident. We have habits and patterns to get us through the day: alarm clocks to get us up, regular meals and exercise, and budgets for expenses. If we don’t have these things, life soon gets chaotic. Even though keeping a diary or getting exercise can feel a chore, really these liberates us to be healthier and happier people.

Having a Rule of Life extends this principle so that we choose the patterns of life we need to be joyful and faithful disciples of Jesus. That doesn’t mean that our Rule of Life just has religious things on it; we follow Jesus 24/7 in everything we do, not just one day a week or when we pray or come to church.

Why ‘Rule’?

‘Rule of Life’ is the traditional phrase for a statement of our intentions for living. But it’s not about having someone in authority over us or choosing oppressive regulations.  ‘Rule’ comes for a Latin word for a ‘straight stick’. It’s a straight line that helps us see when we’re wandering off the path. If you prefer, think of it as a ‘Path of Life’.

You choose your rule

Importantly, no one else is telling you what you should do.  It may help you to discuss it with someone, but it’s your rule. You decide what to include.

Holding onto what gives life

Remember it’s a Rule of Life: it should be life-giving. A good ‘Rule’ helps us to be our true selves – what God created us to be. So, it’s important that it is realistic. A Rule of Life is not a description of the ideal, but of what we can and will do in practice now. It’s a way to choose life in the life we have.


The main leaflet - including a simple format for planning a Rule of Life

A sermon to introduce this project

A longer workbook for preparing a Rule of Life

Further resources for Working People

Further resources for Parents at home with Children

Further resources for Older People

ruleoflife.com - a web resources with more material, inspiration, and stories

Fiona Totty's talk about having a Rule of Life

Margaret Coles' talk about having a Rule of Life