March 23, 2017
Business is often complicated and, at times, messy. Always rushing … scurrying around … solving problems … helping people … putting out fires … dealing with personnel issues … finalizing contracts and deals … fundraising … developing curriculum. No wonder I never have time for lunch. Good business owners slow down life, sort the pieces, and then count them. They take regular inventory of their resources, product, finances, and personnel. These inventories are useful business-planning tools that can reveal growth or decline in productivity, or show possible obstacles to growth. Most importantly, inventories guide and assist business owners in making changes for a better future.
The merry-go-round of life constantly accelerates, ‘til we hit the retirement home. Just as business owners do, taking a regular inventory of our lives is mandatory. It helps us answer questions about the directions and paths our lives take. Are we growing or declining in character development … in spiritual maturity? Are we moving toward our goals, or do obstacles hinder our progress? Are we striving for the right goals? Is our relationship with God growing? What changes do we need to make to move ahead more effectively? What strategies, if any, have we been using? And more importantly, are these strategies working to achieve the right goals?
If you don’t learn from history, your are going to repeat it. That old adage still rings true. But, in order to learn from history, you can run from it or sweep it under the carpet, you have to look back and study it.
You see, when we get honest with ourselves, we realize we are lazy and don’t want to look back at our mistakes. Our strategy for growth is to get by and just “wing it” today, and deal with the ramifications tomorrow. Satan obviously wants to distract you from applying any of God’s teaching into a strategy for growth. When I sat and took a brutally honest inventory of my life, I realized the Instruction Book of Life according to Karl really wasn’t working. Worse yet, instead of being an important asset to my pursuit of happiness, I was my biggest obstacle. Then I made a decision to follow God’s instruction book and the strategies it teaches. WOW – what a difference!
Know that God loves you and wants to help you eliminate the things in your life that may be hurting you and others. But before He can help you, you must face up to the fact that these problems exist. Remember … Jesus is with you. He will not disappoint you in your time of personal searching. Open your heart and challenge Him; He will reveal the desires of your heart and give them to you.
Today, decide to stop being lazy. Be intentional and dig. Take inventory of your life. Consider your relationships with God, self, family, church, and friends. Be honest … brutally honest. Sure it hurts a bit to see who you really are. Ask God to help you see things as they really are … not as you intellectually think they are. Face any obstacles, either within you or outside of you … without making excuses. In our 6 component SPEARS Decision-Making Strategy, we call this inventory-taking component “Summary Thought.” It’s a powerful step towards lasting transformation. Whether you look back, take honest inventory, and hone your decision-making strategy, or you continue to wing it and get more frustrated with each passing day is your decision, so choose well.
Dear Father, I confess I make mistakes. Instead of trying to sweep them under the carpet, help me take a good, honest look at myself. Help me see what is pleasing to You … and what is disappointing to You. Help me to form a concrete strategy to move forward in the areas of my life in which I am struggling. Help me to reorder my life under You and according to Your will. I want to develop a disciplined strategy instead of just winging it everyday. I pray this in the name of Your Son who always searched Himself well, Jesus Christ; and all God’s children say – AMEN!
Let us examine our ways and test them, and let us return to the LORD. Lamentations 3:40
For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. Romans 12:3