Some have both parents, some were raised by one or a grandparent. All have a story that separates their life from every other life and makes them unique.
Of those who had to overcome obstacles that most of us would think leads to a successful life, there are a few things that separate them from others and make their lives of greater value to themselves, their families, their communities and their God. Don’t misunderstand! In God’s economy every life has value and God uses every life in some way, always to His glory.
What do you think some of those things are? Ask ten people and you’ll get dozens of possibilities, especially if you ask them to rank things in some sort of list.
I’ve given this a lot of thought over the years. Looked at some of the successful people I have known and read many biographies and histories about the characteristics of these people. All of them, rich or poor, black, white, Latino, Asian, American Indian, or any other group had to orient themselves in certain ways to overcome some aspect of their upbringing to become successful.
If you know of someone who is not thriving in life and you’re reading this, chances are they are not and I want to challenge you to take these points up with them. Not to judge, or condemn but to be a blessing to them because you love and care for them. This can be a risky thing and requires the utmost wisdom and caution on your part, especially as a Christian.
The beauty of this risky mission is that it doesn’t start with them; it starts with you!
“Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? Matthew 7:1-4
That’s right brothers and sisters. Time to line yourselves up and shift a few things. No one is more responsible for you and your choices than your are. If you’re having troubles and can’t see the way there is a way, THE WAY, to get your rudder working again and stop going adrift.
Here are some things that are essential to every successful Christian life. They are fully supported in God’s Word and if you look at the Hall of Fame of God’s faithful in Hebrews 11 you will find many tremendous examples of these successful traits. Some of these died in the faith and not always comfortably. How you die is meaningless. How you live is vital.
- Know who you are and be realistic-In this order I am (1) A Child of the Living God and all this entails; (2) Husband to a lovely and talented Christian wife; (3) Father to a hard working, obedient, and Godly son; (4) Godly leader of professional correctional officers, and (5) Obedient and professional employee to the taxpayers and those appointed over me in leadership. There are others but these are key in my life.
- Have a mission for your life and LIVE IT every day-My stated personal mission lines up with who I am: A Child of God and I will love my wife as Christ loves His church. I will be responsible as the leader in my household to show my son the love of Christ and give him the best wisdom I can so that he will do likewise with his wife and children. My wife and I will support each other and show our son what it means to live a mature life in Christ. As a servant leader to my staff, I will show Godly leadership in every respect, serving first as a model of Christ’s leadership in His life and in His future reign. This will be how I serve those appointed over me, also.
- Recognize that your mission is different from goals and objectives but that they are inseparable. If you fail to plan and lay this out for yourself, using correct principles-in my case biblical principles you are, in fact, planning to fail.
- Value your time and NEVER waste it-people in crisis have this in common: they waste a lot of time, blame others constantly, and commiserate with others in crisis. Don’t be in this company. They will find you soon enough. Work on you first!
- Once you have done the things above and taken it to heart for life, teach others! This will reinforce it in your heart even more, as well as the life of the one you want to help.
These are no small changes if you have left these practices behind. Maybe you never lived with a daily plan. In my life, everything starts with Christ. He has a wonderful plan for all of us and each of us. Remember what the prophet said over 2500 years ago. It is no less true today but you must recognize your part:
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11
Start tomorrow. Work your plan. Make it include God’s Sharp Living Word. Don’t let anything keep you from it, most of all you. Next time we’ll focus on living in constant crisis and how that works out.
Have a wonderfully blessed week. I plan to.