For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. II Timothy 1:7
God has given us the ability to choose. This ability allows us to make mistakes. However, it also gives us the power to make good choices that lead to success. The phrase “The Buck Stops Here” originated from a card game during the frontier era. The marker was a knife with a buckhorn handle. When someone wanted to pass, they would “pass the buck.” President Trueman had a sign on his desk that said, “The Buck Stops Here.” The message he was declaring was that we can’t control what happens to us but we can control how we respond. Take responsibility of where you are and feel the power to move to a better place.
If we give in to the “victim mentality” that is prevalent in our society we give up our power to make things better. The phrases “why me” and “it’s not my fault” should NEVER enter our conversations. Why NOT you? The common theme of successful people used by God is that they suffered. You can’t control what happens but you have the power to respond correctly. Look at the slide and see how you can change your victim responses to responsible responses.
Decisions flow from our thoughts. Change your thoughts and you will make better decisions. Philippians 3:13-14 talks about forgetting our past failures and moving toward a better future.
1. Read Chapter 4 in the “Traveler’s Gift.”
2. Take inventory of the 7 areas of your life and rank them from 1 to 10. One being “I am a failure” and 10 being “I am the poster child for this area. I rock!” Spiritual, Physical, Financial, Social, Emotional, Professional and Family.
3. In your journal, write your biggest failure. Take a few minutes to list 4 or 5 decisions you made that got you to that place of failure. Once you can accept responsibility for things you did to get you where you are, you have the power to make decisions to get yourself to a better place.
4. Craft a vision of what your perfect life would look like in each of the 7 areas listed above. What would your finances look like if you were a 10? Would you have a budget and enough money to help others if they needed it or be able to give more money to missions? What would your spiritual life look like if it were a 10? Would you do daily devotions and lead a Bible study? You get my drift. This isn’t about pie in the sky. It is about creating a REAL vision for your future. Your goals and dreams may be big but make sure they are from God. Winning the lottery might not be a good vision to cast but getting a higher paying more fulfilling job might be the perfect vision for you.
5. Focus on AT LEAST one of the areas of your life. Review your vision and see what steps you can take THIS WEEK to accept responsibility for where you are and then move to a better place. If you feel like Family was the area you needed to make improvement right away, look at where you are. Are you having relationship issues? What decisions have you made that have gotten you to the place where you don’t have good relationships? What steps can you take to change that this week? What amount of time do you need to spend? Who do you need to counsel with? Who do you need to apologize to? What resources do you need to invest?
I recently had a meaningful conversation with Caleb. I felt like I needed to invest more time in him. Micah has dominated our lives with college decisions this year and Caleb has just flown low under the radar. We were in the car and I told him I had wonderful news. I told him that I knew I had been focusing mostly on Micah and felt bad that he had not gotten a fair amount of attention. I took responsibility for where we were. I enthusiastically shared that I would now be focusing all my energy on him. He sweetly smiled and said, “Excuse me for a minute.” He rolled the window down on our car and leaned his head way out and screamed… “AUGGGGGGGG.” He then turned around with a sweet little smile and said, “Now, where were we?” I can’t promise that your friends or family will be super excited about your vision but they will notice. 🙂
Go forth and make a difference in your life this week. I am so excited about the potential in all of you. Once you internalize the principle that you are where you are because of decisions you have made you are on the road toward success! Claim the power God has given you in II Timothy to make better choices and move in a positive direction this week! Be prepared to share in class what steps you took to make changes. (Philippians 3) If you are reading the blog, post some positive decisions you have made to move toward your vision.
I am going to have a “give away” at the beginning of the week connected to posting comments. Share the blog and post comments to qualify for the “give away.” More details to come!