This week is a transition week. We are transitioning from August to September, from summer to fall, and we’ll be transitioning from the topic of slothfulness this week to the topic of fruitfulness and productivity next week.
I know it’s been a long, long year. So much has happened that wasn’t even on our radar. But think back with me for a minute to what your 2020 goals were. Did you accomplish any of them?
Hopefully, you were able to push through one or two of them. But I get it, it’s been a bewildering and distracting year. However, life will always come with distractions. It is so, so easy to say: “There’s always tomorrow.”
Yet the Bible is clear on this, we are NOT promised tomorrow.
Don’t brashly announce what you’re going to do tomorrow; you don’t know the first thing about tomorrow. Proverbs 27:1 MSG
Each day the Lord has given us is meant to be lived to the fullest.
I think the biggest reason we allow ourselves to drift through life is because we really haven’t found our purpose. While most of us don’t resemble the truly slothful person, we do let aspects of laziness into our lives. Sure, we need downtime to refresh and renew our spirits, but we also need purpose to rouse us up out of our slumber and make each day worth living.
One of the first books I ever read that set me on a mission to discover my purpose was The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here for? by Rick Warren. I know I wasn’t and am not the only person seeking the answer to that question as the book sold millions and millions of copies.
So today I ask, what is the root cause to your spiritual slothfulness? Do you know your purpose? If not, here are some steps you might want to take:
- Take some time to evaluate what God has given you as gifts and talents. We have all been given the ability to change lives. We just need to figure out how. Not sure what your gifts and talents are? Here’s a FREE spiritual gifts assessment you can take to get you started: https://www.gifttest.org/ Let me know what you come up with!
A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other. To one person the Spirit gives the ability to give wise advice; to another the same Spirit gives a message of special knowledge. The same Spirit gives great faith to another, and to someone else the one Spirit gives the gift of healing. He gives one person the power to perform miracles, and another the ability to prophesy. He gives someone else the ability to discern whether a message is from the Spirit of God or from another spirit. Still another person is given the ability to speak in unknown languages, while another is given the ability to interpret what is being said. It is the one and only Spirit who distributes all these gifts. He alone decides which gift each person should have. 1 Corinthians 12:7-11 NLT
- Ask three people who know you well what they see as the best of you. Don’t be shy, ask! Most of the time we totally downplay our strengths and emphasize our weaknesses. Getting feedback from others is the best way to identify the things you can’t naturally see in yourself.
The heartfelt counsel of a friend is as sweet as perfume and incense. Proverbs 27:9 NLT
- Give some thought to what you would do in life if you had all the time in the world and no financial constraints. Dream BIG. Evaluating our dreams usually leads to our passions. What you are passionate about you will apply yourself too.
Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. Ephesians 3:20 NLT
- Finally, give some thought to hiring a mentor or coach. Why hire? In most cases, what you invest money in will motivate you to see it through. But the biggest reason to engage a mentor or coach is that everyone needs someone to speak into their life, see the big picture with them, and cheer them on. A true coach isn’t going to live their life through you, they are going to help you start living yours!! Now the caveat to that is, it’s your life and your responsibility to follow through.
Plans go wrong for lack of advice; many advisers bring success. Proverbs 15:22 NLT
Get all the advice and instruction you can, so you will be wise the rest of your life. Proverbs 19:20 NLT
We only have four more months left in 2020. I’m pretty sure we are all hoping 2021 brings peace, unity, and a sigh of relief. But just because the last eight months have been rocky, we don’t have to lay around the next four months and hope for a better year. We can start preparing now for 2021. In doing so, we will be ready for whatever comes our way.
God intended for us to be proactive. He is a God of action. If we are truly His followers, we should be moving in a forward motion. Oh, there will be times that we move slower than others, but never should we be stagnant like the sluggard.
James admonishes us to be doers of the Word, not just hearers of it (James 1:22) because Jesus commanded us to go out into the world making disciples in His name (Matthew 28:18-20). Can’t do that sitting on the couch!
Today I challenge you to get up and get going. Discover your true gifts, ask about your strengths, dream big, and consider using a mentor or coach for accountability. Don’t wait until tomorrow!
Father, we thank you that You allow us to be a small part of Your big plan. We ask that You breathe new life into the end of 2020 and that You help our motivation to rise. Lord, forgive us when we are lazy and allow idleness to creep into our lives. Give us a glimpse of the dreams You have for us and bring people into our life that will help decipher those dreams with us. And grant us the wisdom to lean not on our own understanding but to trust in You with all our hearts. Amen.
Founder, Transforming Love Ministries
Creator, She Steps Forward Women’s Conference
For more of Elaine’s story, you can find Love Echoed Back: I Cried Out; He Answered on amazon.com.
Please note all scripture references taken from the MSG and NLT.
The Message (MSG) Copyright © 1993, 2002, 2018 by Eugene H. Peterson
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.