Don't Mess With Your Success

We start out each week with grand and glorious expectations of what we're going to accomplish. Our Christian service is in the forefront of our minds and we're ready to face the day...

...and then something happens. Our schedule gets changed around. We're knocked out of whack by an emergency. We lose our focus. We get lazy. The next thing we know it's Friday, the week has flown by and we didn't accomplish half of what we'd planned. Sometimes we even feel like we've failed the Lord by not doing all we said we would.

Paul wrote in Romans: For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do (Romans 7:18-19).

We are not alone - battling our flesh is daily warfare that every Christian woman faces. So what are the issues we face in performing our service for God and how can we overcome them?

* Procrastination - I put off until afternoon what I could do this morning. I save for tomorrow what should get done today. Then I hit a wall and decide not to do it at all...talk about laziness. Any task that I perform for the Lord needs to be done with honor and respect. How can we glorify God in our efforts if we're not even doing them? Plan your Bible study, prayer, visitation, writing, calling and card mailing early and often - make your ministry primary every day.

* Confrontation - I hate cleaning bathrooms...I'm shaking just thinking about it. I know they need to be done today, but I can put it off indefinitely. I have a confrontational attitude toward cleaning the bathroom, but then I think about germs and other icky things in there. I don't want my family (or myself for that matter) coming into contact with anything dirty and nasty. The work that I do may be inconvenient and time consuming, but it's what I'm called to do to protect and care for my home.

* Overreaction - Does it really take FOREVER to unload the dishwasher? No, it takes five minutes. You can do that during a commercial. How long does it REALLY take to write an "I'm thinking of you" card and drop it in the mail? There's another five minutes. Will that woman you'd like to visit really keep you there ALL DAY, or can you spend an hour providing some comfort. When we stop to look at the situation for what it really is, we can truly see the benefits and blessings a little time and effort can supply. That's what happens when we take ourselves out of the picture and look at what God would have us do.

* Refraction - This is that scientific term that means a change of direction. It's what makes the straw in your glass of water look like it's broken. How often do we start a project, get up and say, "Oh, I was going to take care of that" and then go off in a whole different direction? The first task never gets done, and we probably do the same thing with the second. Distraction causes our minds to stay unfocused, keeping us from completing anything. When we stick to the task at hand, know what's coming next and accomplish what we set out to do.

* Disorganization - No...not me! I know exactly what's in that pile. Or was it that pile? This is the easiest one to fix, if we're willing to take a little time. Instead of not sending a card because you have no idea where they are, take a little while to find them all and put them together in one place with your stamps, envelopes and pens. Then next time they'll be in a logical place. Are you less willing to write letters or write a Sunday School lesson because there's no clean space to work? You don't have to clean the whole house, but clear off one spot somewhere and devote that spot to a workspace. Strive to keep that one table or desk clear and available whenever you need it.

* Rumination - Do you think about the task more than the time it would take to actually do it? Have you ever spent a week dreading a chore that took only part of the morning? Our minds can be terrible enemies when we let them go wherever they want. This leads to discouragement and procrastination. Instead, you can talk your mind into more positive thoughts by writing down exactly what you want to accomplish, what you need to do them and how long they will take. You'll be surprised at how easily you can talk yourself into doing something wonderful when you have all the facts.

In the end, all we have to remember is to turn each task of the day over to the Lord. I can of mine own self do nothing (John 5:30), but with God all things are possible (Mark 10:27). The only thing that can mess with our success in Christian service is ourselves. Decide today to put your flesh aside and trust the Lord.

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