This is the time of year when a lot of people are making changes in their life. It’s a new year, so why not create a new you? We all know that New Year’s resolutions are hard to keep. There are scheduling conflicts, your body is not used to getting up early, gyms are crowded, and a whole other plethora of reasons why it’s difficult to keep your resolution. While most resolutions focus on your outward body, there’s one that focuses internally that I hope you’ll keep.
Proverbs 23:7 tells us that we are what we think. Your mind is very powerful. It tells you what to believe about yourself and others, and we always act according to our beliefs. If you are constantly telling yourself that you’re a nobody, that you’re fat, that you’re ugly, that you’re stupid, that no one cares for you, or any other negative thing, your body will respond accordingly. My hope for you this year, is that you’ll begin to change how you think so you can become who God sees you as.
To change how you think, you need to begin changing what you think about. Watch what you put into your mind, and also be vigilant about what you allow your mind to dwell on. Challenge the thoughts that aren’t true. Stop the thoughts that take you down the rabbit hole. This is tough, but it can be done. You can retrain your mind what to think by challenging what it already thinks. Hold it to the Philippians 4:8 standard.
That verse says, “Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse”(MSG). Ask your mind, “Is that true?” If not, tell your mind what is true. You can change your life and it starts with how you think. You can do this! Tell yourself that and begin to believe it because it’s true.
I once had a friend that lived according to her Franklin Covey planner. She scheduled everything in that binder. If it wasn’t in there, she didn’t do it. I, being young, made fun of her. I asked her if she was ever spontaneous. She responded that she had time on Thursday evening to be spontaneous and wrote it in. Her life was mapped out and she was going places. I lived by no schedule and was going no where. She went where she wanted in life and I went where life took me. It’s not hard to see how important it is to make a plan and to work that plan.
I talk to a lot of people who are going to do great things for God. They tell me what God wants them to do with their lives. I ask, “What are you doing today to prepare for that calling?” Usually I get the religious answer, “God doesn’t call the qualified, He qualifies the called. He’ll prepare me in time.” I ask them what they are doing to today in the form of that calling. I usually hear crickets chirping. They, like so many of us, expect God to give us honorary doctorates in whatever field He’s called them to with no work on their part. They believe it will just happen.
I believe things don’t just happen. God expects us to plan, prepare and practice before it’s time to perform. We have to schedule time with Him, start out small and invest in our calling. When Jesus gave the Parable of the Talents, He said, “You have been faithful over a little; I will put you in charge of much.” So many Christians shun the little things because we want to do big things for God. We forget that God won’t give us the big things until we show we can be faithful over the small things. If you can’t spend time alone with God when your life isn’t hectic, how will you do it when it is?
I remember hearing Andy Stanley speak at Catalyst two years ago. He said that none of the speakers at Catalyst had an easy road to that stage. They paid high prices in the little things before God would trust them with the big things. Greatness in life only comes from being faithful when you aren’t great. All giants in the faith started out small. Major churches, giant Christian organizations and well known preachers started somewhere small. They had God’s call on their life to do something great and they started small. They scheduled time with God and began doing things that wouldn’t be noticed by most.
Do you feel like God has called you to do something big for Him? What are you doing today to prepare for that? What is a little thing that you can put on your schedule to do this week to move you closer to greatness? I heard someone once say, “If you were going to do it, you’d already be doing it.” If something is important to us and will pay out greater dividends, we wouldn’t wait until later to do something. We’d already be doing things to make that happen. We’d already have it on our schedule. Be faithful now when no one is looking so God can trust you when people are.