He said to them, “You will surely say this proverb to Me, ‘Physician, heal yourself! Whatever we have heard done in Capernaum, do also here in Your country.’ “ Luke 4:23 (NKJV)
She stood at the altar looking me in the eye and telling me, “I would make personal changes but I have no self will.” Looking a little bewildered I responded. back, “No self will? Okay? When you say that are you giving yourself permission to fail and stay as you are?” “No…I just don’t have any personal motivation,” she shot back with a nervous smile. Immediately I interupted her before she could say another word, “Personal transformation begins with a personal desire to change.”
If you are like this woman you might be giving yourself permission to fail. Millions of unmotivated people live everyday giving themselves permission to fail.
What does that mean? Well…it means that you are giving yourself room to fail so that when you do fall and fail you won’t feel so bad about it. If you set a standard for self where failure is not an option then your only choice it to shoot for succeeding. If you do fail or fall it hurts but the pain of that failure reminds you and motivate you to try harder the next time.
Personal motivation comes from a desire to succeed and overcome the odds. The problem I feel is we are so afraid to fail. So how do we overcome that feeling?
1. You have to determine in your mind that quiting is not an option. No matter the outcome, win or lose you cannot quit. The reason is that if you can quit you will give yourself yet another excuse for failure and you will set yourself up to quit everything that is too tough to handle.
2. You have to remind yourself that failure is not an option. What this does is make you look at everything more thoroughly so that you eliminate the chances for failing. The more complete you examine things and plan things the less likely you will fail at “things”.
3. Learn to embrace loss, failure and short-comings. Lets face it, we are not all perfect as much as we would like to convince ourselves. Even the best conferences and events have things that happen that are not planned or expected, but to expect that it could happen and that you cannot do anything about it except recognize it with grace is the best way to grow from your blunders. I have a terrible memory when it comes to names. I can remember faces for years, but names often elude me. I know that I may forget a name or botch a name at some point. So I embrace that it may happen though I try hard to not let it. When it does I joke embarassing about it and from then on I have no trouble remembering.
Self will begins with a determination to see changes happen. No desire to change will result in no self will. If you knew that you needed to change because your life depended on it you would more than likely make the necessary changes. Well, your life depends on it so go ahead make the change.
How you were raised make a big difference in who you are and how you act. Most children when they reach a certain age try to stick out from the family because there is something they see that they despise. Eventually the thing they attempted to avoid became the thing that overpowered them.
How you were raised is a key to how you raise your children. You can either raise your kids as your parents did to you or vice-versa. Inevitably we are raised unbeknownst to us by the patterns and habits that our parents formed in us that were formed in them that were formed in their parents and on.
I am not a person who believes in “generational curses” but do believe in inherited behaviors and patterns. Take for example a man who smokes whose father smoked and grandfather smoked. That destructive pattern is handed down by what we portray in front of our children.
Living out your life in front of your kids will help you to raise them better than you teaching them to day in and day out about life and proper poises.
Think about what destructive and constructive patterns where formed in you by your parents. Some of those habitual traits may be:
- How you view life.
- Personal habits. Smoking, drinking, drugs, sexual behaviors, etc.
- Personal character traits. Honesty, Lies, Storytelling, Encouragement, depression, etc. You get the picture.
Begin to see the creepy similarities between you and your parents and grandparents. These are things that you or others say, “That’s just like your dad or grandma, etc.”
How do you overcome them once you find them? Well, if they are constructive patterns then you don’t want to lose them, but you want to use them. Those that are destructive, however those you want to free yourself from.
- Address them – Discover what your issues are and confront them. Seek counseling and deal with the root of the problem. You cannot free yourself from things until you do. All you will ever do is mask them until you address them.
- Confess Them – Confession is a purging of impurities in your spirit. A toxic spirit will eventually spill over into areas of your life that you intended to hide from the rest of the world. When unconfessed issues go unresolved your reality and your alternate life will eventually collide. Confession sets your healing on a corrected path.
- Redress Them – Once you address and confess then you must redress. You cannot renovate a house with out tearing out some walls and moving some fixtures, but the remodel is not the final stage. You must redrywall and repait and recarpet. The old issues are no longer an issue so rather than bury it, redress it. Old cars are nice when redressed to make new. Your life is not over because you have an issue. Issues are meant to be dealt with otherwise your issue becomes a crisis. Redress your old with a fresh coat of hope and joy.
Every day God’s mercies are new. Stop trying to tell yourself that yesterdays mercies are today’s blessings. God provides a fresh coat every day. Eventually issues you had are exactly that “had” and not have.
Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, Phil 3:13 (NKJV)
IF YOU spend all your time today thinking about your failures or successes yesterday, then you will ruin your tomorrow. When today looks too long at yesterday, we are borrowing from tomorrow’s time.
Yesterday is like a rearview mirror. When you go somewhere in the car, you use a rearview mirror. A rearview mirror shows you what’s behind you. You need a rearview mirror but you only need a rearview mirror to glance in, not to live in. You don’t move forward by focusing on a rearview mirror; you move forward by focusing on the windshield. If you live in a rearview mirror, you will hurt somebody. But in front of the rearview mirror is a much bigger piece of glass called the windshield. The windshield shows you where you are going and that’s a lot bigger than where you have been. Don’t let yesterday mess up today, which will ruin tomorrow.
While you are driving forward in your Christian life, every now and then look in your rearview mirror. Take a peek in your rearview mirror to see what’s behind you so that you don’t make a wrong turn while you’re moving forward. Just don’t stare too long.
Have you ever wanted something so bad and yet had no desire to go get it? That’s called lazy. Laziness can keep you from potentially accomplish great things in your life. There are people who might have been great whatever but no one, including them will ever know because they were too lazy to find out.
I am not faulting you because I have had my fair share of lazy moments. I have missed out on great opportunities all because I was too lazy to go get it.
What causes laziness?
- Laziness can be hereditary. In other words it is a learned behavior. Perhaps you learned it from your mom or dad. More so maybe they enabled it.
- Laziness is caused by fear. What causes people to procrastinate and hesitate is fear. Fear of the unknown, fear of increased responsibility, etc.
- Laziness is caused by self doubt. Doubting your abilities to accomplish STUFF or do STUFF is like poison for your dreams. Drinking the elixir of self doubt and even self worth can stop you dead in your tracks from being and doing things that would increase your self respect and self worth.
- Laziness is caused by bad health habits. I struggle most with this. Eat too late at night. Too busy with other things that I lack the energy and drive to accomplish things I need. That is why I like Word Press because I can write in advance all my blogs and time their publication. (Just being honest, I’m not perfect).
- Laziness is caused by depression and or discouragement. People get into a slump and lose sight of their goals because of losses or defeats. Its easy to do, but you have to be able to pull yourself out of the slump and know that there is more or better stuff out there. You just have to find it.
Laziness can kill your dreams and hopes for a better tomorrow. I know that sounds so cliche but it really can. I have had to motivate myself with the understanding that if I want more for my life than what I have then I need to set out and determine in my heart that I am going to see it through. I have been writing several books, each of which needs to be completed of course, but I am writing. I have determined that if I can motivate myself to accomplish just one that the others will come more easily.
How to do you break the lazy cycle?
- Stop going to bed so late. Late nights will exhaust you and cause you to linger in bed all day. Once you have built habit of this it becomes so much easier to develop a habit of lazy.
- Challenge yourself to try and accomplish one thing. When I say try I mean do. Getting out of bed and getting to the task at hand will do more for you. When you see yourself complete the task you will be glad you fought off the lazy bug syndrome.
- Stop hanging around lazy people. When you get around people who have no personal motivation for their life they bring you down. Eventually you are all texting each other while sitting next to each other on the couch. Or too lazy to go visit you’ll just call and see what’s up. Even though you have a tendency for lazy hang out with people who are not, because they have a way of kicking you in the can to motivate you. Motivated people are always busy doing things.
- Set personal goals for yourself. Daily, Weekly, Monthly, Annually and Long Term. Daily goals will help you accomplish the right now things that you want to desperately put off till tomorrow. Weekly goals will help you to see a bigger picture of your overall settings. Monthly will motivate you because you have to make it happen daily to see the monthly goal completed. Annually and Long Term pretty much work the same just on a bigger scale. Goals like be debt free in one year or two is a viable goal because you know that saving and paying off stuff is part of the overall task.
When you have things to work for you find yourself more motivated to accomplish it. Stop being lazy and get up! You have life to conquer!
46 ”But why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do the things which I say? 47 Whoever comes to Me, and hears My sayings and does them, I will show you whom he is like: 48 He is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently against that house, and could not shake it, for it was founded on the rock. 49 But he who heard and did nothing is like a man who built a house on the earth without a foundation, against which the stream beat vehemently; and immediately it fell. And the ruin of that house was great.” Luke 6:46-49 (NKJV)
Being a pastor I have learned so much about building and contracting and such. I have learned what it would take to build a church and have the blisters to prove it. I have discovered there is a lot of work that goes into building a building. What I have discovered is that your building will last as long as the strength of your foundation.
Jesus said He would show us who we are like depending on whether we listen to and follow or obey His word or whether we will build our lives on weak foundations.
So, I am talking about weak foundations. We can see that the person with the weak foundation is a foolish man. Unlike the wise man who dug deep and built his house on the rock he built his house on the sand.
That is what most of us try to do. Build our lives on surface issues. A surface issue is that which everyone else can see but beneath it all are the deeper issues that will eventually rise to cause greater damage.
If you ever want your life to count for something you have to stop building your life on weak foundations.
How do you recognize a weak foundation in your life?
- If you have to cover up what you don’t want others to see because it would be embarrassing for them to know it about you, but you are not willing to change it. That is a weak foundation. You might as well deal with it because eventually it WILL show up and when it does it will cause you more grief and shame than just hiding it.
- If you make decisions on what others think about you, say about you care about and not what God thinks about you, says about you and cares for you then that is a weak foundation. Building your life on foundations based on men’s opinions of what you should and should not do if it doesn’t come in life with God’s word is faulty. You cannot build your life on that kind of foundation. Why? Because people’s opinions change and so will you every time their opinion changes you change. You can neither afford it and it is exhausting to keep up with what people say is hot for you and what is not for you.
- If you have no home church by which to gain spiritual advantage and growth in your life, somewhere you can grow roots and build friendships then that is a faulty foundation. You need a fellowship of friends that believe God’s word as you do or better. In fact it would be better to surround yourself with people who think about being better. You are only as good as those you hang out with. If you hang out with people who all have weak foundations all of you will implode and no one will be able to support, strengthen the other.
- If the church you go to teaches you that what you are doing in your sin is okay and that it will go away if you just focus on being happy then that is a TOTALLY WEAK FOUNDATION. In fact RUN from a church like that. We pastor’s are guilty of number 2 at times. So some pastor’s will grow a church based on people not being challenged in their personal lives to change and become better. The church you need should confront you about your sin and immoralities so that you feel convicted to come to a loving and forgiving God and repent for your sin. If that church condemns you for your sin and never shows you a way for changing it then RUN! There should be a balance of confrontation and change.
How do you take your foundation from weak to strong?
- Take a look at all the above and make the shift. It is hard to change what you are not willing to confront.
- Let go of toxic relationships Toxic relationships will only bring you down plus they influence you to make choices that are weak in principle or character. I wrote about toxic relationships here.
- Develop a foundation of belief. If you have nothing to believe in you will fall every time. That is why church is so important.
Overall if you build a strong foundation you will be setting yourself up for the most incredible experiences your life could ever imagine.