A group of junior-level executives were participating in a management training program. The seminar leader pounded home his point about the need to make decisions and take action on these decisions.
“For instance,” he said, “if you had five frogs on a log and three of them decided to jump, how many frogs would you have left on the log?”
The answers from the group were unanimous: “Two.”
“Wrong,” replied the speaker, “there would still be five because there is a difference between deciding to jump and jumping.” *
LOL and ouch!
How many things have I “decided to do” but then failed to follow through?
- Deciding to save money for Christmas.
- Deciding to eat healthier.
- Deciding to faithfully exercise.
- Deciding to read through the Bible.
- Deciding to memorize more scripture.
Decide … then follow through. Sounds simple enough. But then we trip up.
Why don’t we follow through?
(1) We are human beings—we’re still sinners.
“Surely there is not a righteous man on earth who does good and never sins. … as it is written: ‘None is righteous, no, not one. … for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Ecclesiastes 7:20; Romans 3:10, 23).
(2) We don’t always appropriate what God has done for us.
We need to take possession of what God has given us: eternal life, and the power to change. The power of the cross and Christ’s resurrection will change our lives, and we can begin to see that change as we practice acting on our identity with Christ.
Humbling ourselves and calling upon God for mercy and strength, we trust in the righteousness of God in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:21) enabling us to produce good fruit. God is consistently conforming us to His will; by God’s grace we are continually making progress in becoming more like Christ.
We make progress one step at a time as we trust the Lord to work, strengthening us from within (Philippians 4:13).
(3) We don’t make any serious strategies.
I need to visualize the goal and ask the Lord to show me what I need to do to get to that goal.
Benjamin Franklin said, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.” The Bible says, “Plans fail for lack of counsel….” (Proverbs 15:22).
Plans aren’t meant to be “hope so,” but rather a step-by-step strategy for success.
Strategies might include getting good counsel, organizing time and effort to fit godly priorities, and creating steps of action that align with our purpose or mission statement.
(4) We don’t remember the source of our spiritual progress.
We are meant to live in a state of dependence on the Lord for everything!
(5) We don’t discipline our lives. In other words, we don’t commit to implementing the strategies with a disciplined life (1 Corinthians 9:24-27).
In other words:
Envisioning a goal and making strategies won’t work if I don’t take disciplined action!
Self-Discipline may be painful, but it will yield blessings (Hebrews 12:11)
Along with self-discipline, there must be a heart attitude of willing sacrifice—a “whatever it takes” heart to follow hard after God’s will. We say, “Yes, Lord!” when He gives direction. Then we can set procedures in place to back up our willingness with obedience.
(6) We don’t take time to create a reliable source of accountability.
We are stronger in pursuing holy goals when others come alongside us. As iron sharpens iron,” friends can help and support us (Proverbs 27:17) and spur us on toward love and good deeds (Hebrews 10:24-25).
Deciding to make a choice isn’t the same as actually making the choice.
And in making the choice, we need to strategize, recruit support and remember where the power and wisdom come from to move forward and accomplish great things for the Kingdom of God.
Which of these points could help you move from deciding to doing?
– * Humor: Cybersalt Digest, “Decisions,” 5-13-14
– Graphic: Image courtesy of japanachai at FreeDigitalPhotos.net