Wednesday, November 18, 2015

To Learn and Be Challenged Is Good for People

"Begin with the end in mind." Stephen Covey

Setting goals is a privilege and has the potential of greatly transforming our lives. We choose daily whether we will be complacent and lazy in our attitude and approach toward life or if we will take each day as an opportunity to learn and grow in many facets of life.

With the advent of the internet and access to many great resources at the local library, buying resources for cheap on, or looking through a plethora of knowledge available on blogs and other websites, we can grow on a continual basis in the roles God has called us to.

We will never regret polishing our strong points and overcoming our weaknesses. We will always profit from learning how to be a productive citizen of society whose main goal in life is to exalt and know the Lord, and as such, be an example of Him to others and serve people as modeled by our Savior and King, Jesus Christ.

In The Bourne Ultimatum, one character said:

My number one rule is hope for the best, plan for the worst.

This is a wise way of viewing the future regardless of what it holds. It brings motivation to better our lives and equips us with the knowledge that being the best we can be and learning to be a great asset to those around us is a very smart decision on our part. It causes conviction to get serious about God and what matters in life, to prepare for opportunities, to view and treat money in the right manner, and to always think long-term.

My family and I recently discussed different goals we'd like to begin working on; one of which is being punctual regardless of the event and another is to thoroughly learn computer programs so if need be, we will be able to confidently apply for jobs that require such skills in the future. As a family, we are going to read Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No, to Take Control of Your Life by Henry Cloud and John Townsend, The Grand Weaver: How God Shapes Us Through the Events of Our Lives by Ravi Zacharias, and Walking with God Through Pain and Suffering by Timothy Keller. This will prepare us for the future by equipping us in our dealings with others, teach us how to set boundaries in relationships (by the way, the Boundaries Book Series covers an array of topics that are worth checking out!), and will give us the right perspective on the trials and pain every person goes through in this life.

I encourage you to set weekly goals and learn new skills on a regular basis. It can be of great value in preparing you for higher paying jobs, assisting others who need guidance on whatever the topic may be, as well as giving you a sense of accomplishment.

There is no reason why every person shouldn't continually seek to learn new skills or work on bettering their current abilities. You never know the opportunities God can bring along as you pray to be used by Him, even in small ways, to make a difference in this world and in the lives of people in your sphere of influence. You cannot give what you do not already possess, so learning is invaluable!

There really is so much to learn in life. A wide array of topics can be studied and mastered if only we will take the time to do research and put into practice what we are learning.

Here is a list of responsibilities or topics of interest that I had written down recently so I can begin honing my craft in these areas, improving my current skills, or learning more about these subjects to then apply them to my life for my growth and the benefit & blessing of others:

  • Ways to be productive/how to make the most of my time and not be idle
  • How to be humble
  • How to make others feel welcome
  • How to serve others
  • How to be hospitable
  • How to host house guests and prepare for having company over/ways to be a good house guest
  • Ways to improve relationships
  • How to handle stress in a healthy manner
  • How to communicate/resolve conflict
  • How to be the best older sibling
  • Responsibilities and what should be expected of adult children living at home
  • Taking initiative to work on chores and meet needs without being asked
  • Homemaking skills
  • Find healthy recipes, desserts, and smoothie ideas
  • What makes a house a home
  • Qualities of a structured home and life
  • Characteristics of a cluttered home and life (so as to avoid or bring about change in these areas)
  • Ways to simplify your life
  • How to be selfless and patient
  • How to be a good listener
  • How to show genuine interest in others
  • How to be gentle and warm in my dealings with other people/more friendly and considerate of others
  • How to be hardworking/have a great work ethic
  • How to be dependable
  • How to steward money in a God honoring way
  • How to encourage others
  • What being a good friend entails
  • How to have a go with the flow attitude
  • Thoughtful gift ideas
  • Best planner for establishing and tracking progress of daily or weekly goals
  • Qualities of a godly wife and woman
  • How to memorize Scripture

Setting goals (no matter how small) will bring greater purpose to your life. Whether it's learning about money and how to spend/save/budget wisely, taking night or online classes to learn a new language (I've heard that Rosetta Stone is an excellent program to use for learning a new language and hope to one day use this program myself), or searching God's word to gain wisdom and knowledge on how you can more fully live out your God-given roles (something we should do regularly). I loved the example of this in the movie Courageous. If you haven't seen this movie, please watch it. Seriously. It is worth taking the time to see, especially for dads or men who hope to be a father one day.

We should continually read the word of God to learn about Christ and God's character, what He calls us to as His followers, and to grow in godliness, contentment, and the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5: 22-23). This should be a given for every genuine Christian. There are so many wonderful resources that can help us to grow spiritually, overcome sin, pursue purity, seek after God, present evidence about Jesus, deal with challenges, questions, and doubts, overcome objections, and grow in character.

I challenge each of you to begin praying that God would show you what to pursue, work on, read, watch, listen to, where to meet people, how to serve, and that His will would be done in every aspect of your life. Seek Biblical Counsel with many people to gain a wise perspective on choices you make and what direction might be the best course of action to pursue. Ask God to open the doors He sees fit and close the doors or opportunities He, in His wisdom, knows are best left alone.

Attend church weekly and pray earnestly that God would become your highest priority in life. Pray that He would teach you lessons and uproot wrong ways of thinking. Ask God to bring needed discipline into your life and save you from yourself.

To borrow a phrase from the world, Luck favors the prepared. We are to prepare for the future and do our part as we live each day, yet we must continually surrender our lives (past, present, and future), our wants and desires, our goals and plans, our relationships and possessions, our time, talent and resources, the time in our day, our free time and days off of work or school, our entertainment and friend choices, and all else to God with a willing trust, securely resting in the truth that...

"The safest place in all the world is the center of God's will." Chip Ingram

If you'd like to share your ideas or progress with me, you may write at: or through the contact form on my blog.

For further reading, check out the following blog posts regarding goals, surrender to God, spiritual growth, and help with money:


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