4 Keys to Success
By Pastor Tom Anderson
It’s been said that we make our habits and then our habits make us. This is certainly true in our eating, sleeping and relationship practices. It is also true of our walk with Christ! I’m going to take 4 things everyone needs to do to be an effective person and apply them to the daily journey of Christian living. It’s a new year, why not take a look at your spiritual habits?
1. Show up on time.
We all know such a habit is fundamental to holding a job or making it through school. What’s more, your social life is going to fail if you can’t show up for your date on time. This habit also applies to spiritual life. God showed up for us in Jesus Christ! God made a plan and set the time to appear to us in Jesus. Have you ever had the experience of being stood up by someone? Some questions to answer for yourself: Will I show up for Jesus? Will I show up before him in daily prayer? Will I show up before him to listen to His Word? Will I show up on Sundays to worship Him and get my marching orders for the week ahead?
2. Do what you say you're going to do.
Making promises and keeping them is the only way to build trust. People make two mistakes in this regard: 1)They avoid making any promises and so they never build trust with anybody or 2)They make way too many promises and wind up unable to keep any of them. We must find the middle ground. We must make promises–”I’ll be home at 6 PM” or “I’ll have it for you on Tuesday” --and keep them.
Have you ever thought about making promises to Jesus? Promise Him that you will meet some need that your neighbor has. Promise to give Him a percentage of your income. Promise Him you will clean up your language. Ask Him for help to do what you said you would do. All of us made membership vows when we were baptized and joined the church. Maybe it’s time to review those promises. If they’ve fallen into neglect perhaps it’s time to start doing what you said you would do?
3. Finish what you start.
Over committing results in underperforming. Jesus told a parable artfully memorialized in the Sower sculpture outside our church. A sower threw out seeds on various kinds of soil: a beaten path, rocky ground, weeds and good soil. In every case the seeds sprouted but only the good soil produced fruit. For many reasons, the seeds were unable to finish what the Sower started. Are you going to finish what Jesus started in you? Are you with fear and trembling working out the salvation He won for you? (Philippians 2:12)
4. Say please and thank you.
Common courtesy is absent in many households, classrooms and workplaces. “Please” and “Thank you” are missing from emails, texts, social media and in church!
Thankfulness is the foundation of worship. Ours is a religion of gratitude–that’s what makes Sundays so crucial. We begin the week with the practice of thanksgiving and carry it out into daily life. Start looking for people to thank each day. Go up to them and say the words, “Thank you for ________.” Make a habit of praying your thanks. Develop the habit of expressing gratitude everywhere and with everyone.
That’s the list. Spend some time with God in prayer today and pick one new habit–that if you practiced it consistently over the years–would make a huge difference in your closeness to Jesus.