Question Everything

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I recently read that in all the years that primates have been taught sign language, not a single one has ever asked a question. Think about that. The theory is that if we can give these higher intelligence animals the tools, we can unlock their intellect and yet, all we are finding is that they only do and say what we tell them.

These primates live life lead by their primal instincts. Their excuse is that it is all they are capable of. Humans have far greater resources and yet few take advantage and live above their primal desires as well.

You were created for more. You have been given the ability to shape the world around you through the values you hold dear. When you allow those values to dictate how you make decisions, you manifest your values in your life.

When you live by your base instinct, allowing the cares of the day to dictate your schedules and decisions, the world around you manifests in you.

This amazing ability to question the trajectory of our lives empowers us to live for more than what we see.

Harness this power today. Use it to view your life from the outside. Question the motives of your life. Decide to take charge of it today.

Why Your Resolutions Don’t Work

The reason most people never achieve their goals is because they don’t represent anything more than a passing emotion or a temporal want. If you want to set achievable goals for 2018 they need to be anchored in your values.

The Bible talks of a time when folks did whatever seemed right to them. They did that because there was nobody speaking from a higher value than base desire.

If we want to live lives that accomplish greater things than our natural abilities, we need to set goals that transcend our natural abilities.

20171206_082035It’s that simple.

When we expose our hearts to God we let him transform us and that naturally transforms out goal setting. We go from solving immediate needs to setting goals that reflect the values God has placed in our hearts. And if he births the goals then he empowers to achieve the goals.

Before you can set any realistic goals for your life you need to take a realistic look at your life and get real about where your life does not reflect what you say you believe about yourself and the world.

Take out some paper. Set aside some time. Begin to list the most important things to you (God, family, health, having a place of belonging, honest relationships, etc). The get in the place of prayer and ask Holy Spirit to help you see which of those areas don’t really reflect what you say you believe.

Here are three examples from the fist post in this series:

  • We might say we value our marriage and family but we sin in ways that destroy them.
  • We say we want our children to understand that decisions have consequences but then we shield them from any consequences to their decisions.
  • We say we want real friendships with people who aren’t fake but in every friendship, we hide authenticity for fear of rejection.

Instead of making a new goal to quit watching porn, set a goal to love your wife in every area. Walk with the question, “Does this reflect the love I have for my wife?” Date her more, adore her more, cherish her in your heart. If anything begins to take her place it will be foreign and collide with the value you have placed on her.

Don’t waste your life focusing this year on a magic number on the scale or or a number in your bank account. Get with God, find out why those things are so important to you, and live a life that reflects your values.

Stop Dreaming of Goals Start Living from Vision

Do you really want 2018 to be better than 2017? Would you like this to be the year you scratch some things off your resolution list instead of dreaming about it be liftedagain in 2019? Then you have to start doing some things different.

I am convinced that most people never reach their goals because they never articulate the values they represent. You are a whole person and your goals should reflect the whole person God has called you to be. Your goals should be a manifestation of your inner man.

This year, instead of vowing to change something about yourself, take some time in prayer and decide the values you hold in your life. Then look and see if your lifestyle reflects those values. Let me give you a few examples.

  • We might say we value our marriage and family but we sin in ways that destroy them.
  • We say we want our children to understand that decisions have consequences but then we shield them from any consequences to their decisions.
  • We say we want real friendships with people who aren’t fake but in every friendship, we hide authenticity for fear of rejection.

All too often, we set something as a higher priority than the values we claim to hold dear. In each of these examples we allow the fear of discomfort to erode our values.

In 2018 decide what is important to you. Don’t make a vow to be skinny. Figure out what values overeating and under activity is violating. Then do whatever it takes to honor your value for that.

In 2015 I decided that being overweight was an outward manifestation of my lack of care for my body. It was my body telling the world that I was not exercising self-control in eating. When I had a hard time finding any clothes that looked good on me I decided that I could not live that way any longer.

I wanted to look on the outside the way I viewed myself on the inside. I lost 35 pounds, got in good shape, and it changed my life. Embracing my values brought a ton of more fruit than just beating myself up for being overweight.

Take time this week to start articulating your values. Then see where in your life you are not honoring them.

photo credit: Corey Pagano