This might need to be printed out and hung somewhere. It would be the longest tattoo ever, but if you need the reminder, go for it! Here’s my action plan for 2013. My prayer is you’ll do more than read these, but put them into practice. We all can benefit from practicing these day to day.
1. Experience Love Deeply
Deep love only happens with Jesus. The cross, His love, and the redeeming power of a relationship with Him is where we truly experience love and feel it deeply. It happens in my prayer time, reading my bible, serving people, being a part of the church consistently. When those things are off balance, I see the ripple effect through every other part of life.
2. Embrace Surrender Fully
As we’d say it at Forefront “Shake The Dust.” Life has settled and you are moving at the pace & norm you know. Shake the dust off and embrace the surrender to an Almighty God. It’s in full surrender, we are totally free. It sounds nuts, but it’s so freeing that you’ll feel like running through the streets in your underwear. Or, well at least one guy in the Bible did, and that’s good enough reason for me.
3. Eliminate Distractions Aggressively
Class, cell phone, television, certain friends, etc. You have distractions in life keeping you from moving forward with God. It’s time to admit what you know,Â eliminateÂ those distractions and guard yourself from them. Dave Ramsey would call this, “gazelleÂ intensity.” They outrun theirÂ predatorsÂ like mad men and you need to to the same thing with distractions.
4. Exhibit Patience BeautifullyÂ
Patience isn’t easy. But, to love deeply you must also embrace patience. To understand this life and embracing change isn’t a microwave meal, it’s a crock pot process. Patience is a beautiful thing. God shows it to you daily. Time to do the same for others.
5. Enlist Accountability Immediately
You need this. Your core tells you that you don’t. Your brain tells you that you don’t. Trust me. Accountability is so needed in our journey of life with God. Take it from me, Accountability is amazing.
6. Engage Relationships Daily
It’s easy to be a hermit and not really do anything or want to be around anyone. And, let’s be real… smartphones have made it so when we’re with people, we don’t even want to talk because we’re busy talking with other people… online. Turn off your phone. Look up. “Mr/Mrs. Too Busy With Your Phone, I’d like to reintroduce you to your family. Your friends. Let’s meet your neighbor of 8 years for the first time.” Note: I struggle with this. So, it’s probably more for me than you. I’m sure you’re great at this, right?
7. EradicateÂ ExcusesÂ Permanently
Excuses are the villan of the taking action story. DOing is the super hero. Get rid of excuses the moment they arise. It’s a disease that will spread through your heart, mind, and overtake you. And, don’t post your excuses or venting online. You’ll always find people who will agree with you. Instead, stomp out the excuses and ask a true friend face to face, “Can you please help me break through these excuses? I don’t want to have regrets and these excuses are getting in the way.”
8. Exemplify Jesus Exclusively
We know you love the (insert whatever sports team here). Your new shiny phone is great. That new car you wash every weekend is awesome. There is nothing wrong with those things. It’s great to have hobbies and things we enjoy. A big question to ask yourself is, “What are you known for?” If the people in your life would answer with your team, geeky technology, your car, a food, etc… it’s time to reevaluate things. If you claim Chris. If you are a Christian. If you are surrendered to Him, that should be the thing that shines the most. I’m not talking about WWJD bracelets and Jesus wear, but people should see something different about you. It should be clear who you truly live for.
9. Envelop Brokenness Graciously
Every screws up. Don’t be that guy or girl who is pouncing on people the moment they mess up. Nobody wants to be around that person. If they’re not a Christian, they aren’t held to the same standards you as a Christian hold anyway. So, don’t expect them to live for something they don’t live for. Instead, embrace their brokenness graciously and love them. If you’re a Christian and the person failing is a Christian too, there’s a gracious way to help them. Note: Facebook messages, emails, or texts are not it. Face to face interaction is the way to handle that. If it’s important enough to address a brother/sister’s brokenness, it’s important enough to make a time to meet face to face. If you go the digital route, don’t beÂ surprisedÂ if it falls flat. You get out of it what you put into it.
10. Embrace LoveÂ Unconditionally
In all things love. In all things love. I cannot say it enough, in all things love. If you come across unloving, you’ll go nowhere. Absolutely nowhere. If you’re known for being abrasive, harsh, stubborn, etc and you’re a Christian- it’s time to shake the dust and drop those things in 2013. God gives us the Holy Spirit as a guide, help, and to intercede on ourÂ behalfÂ when we fell unable to do it. So, don’t live abrasively. Don’t continue to be harsh or stubborn. Be known as someone who loves unconditionally.
And, rememberÂ â€œApplication Is Everything.â€Â
So, go and do it.