For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline… He has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of His own purpose and grace.” (2 Timothy 1:7, 9)
In short, the answer is discipline, but we’re not exactly born with that. If we were, we wouldn’t be having this conversation! Maybe some people can wake up one day and say, “I’m gonna get in shape this year” and actually do it, but for most of us, there’s a difference between the idea of making resolutions and the disciplined process of setting attainable goals.
Earlier this month, The Wesleyan Church posted “10 Personal Questions to Start 2019 Well.” Looking at all of this potential, where do we start? Author Dan Reiland states, "My advice is not to make a list too long. That can be overwhelming. If you do make a long list, then prioritize it and start with a short list of the most important things first.”
I don’t know about you, but I like to have a goal. I have long-term goals, short-term goals, in-between goals… and about every six months or so, I end up re-evaluating, re-prioritizing, and re-focusing on the goals that are most important. Otherwise, I can lose track and never make much progress on any goals. We can’t do everything all at once! So I’m continuously re-learning to start with one thing, and focus on doing one thing well, before adding another thing.
- 1 Big: 1 regular big Sunday worship gathering
- 1 Small: 1 regular weekly small group or mentoring relationship
- 1 Serve: 1 regular service commitment in the church or community
This can feel frustrating at first, when we want to get involved, make a difference, and see big changes right away. We want to go all in! But discipline builds on itself. Discipline in one area of life builds discipline into other areas of life.
Then it’s not about how I feel or what I want or what you think I should do. Then it's about being called to honor the Lord with my body (1 Corinthians 6:19-20), be faithful with the resources He’s given me (Luke 16:10-11), and encourage others to good deeds (Hebrews 10:24-25).
God’s will has a way of simplifying a lot of decisions. "Is what I'm doing honoring to God?" Yes? Well, do that, then. No? Then change that. Here’s a way to start...
>>> Part Two: Principles Into Practice
By His mercy,