A few weeks ago I had the privilege to spend a week in Honduras with a group of men building 4 houses. It was a life changing experience. During our “free time” we were able to have good conversation, worship together, and, of course, eat good food.
It was during one of our conversations that it all started to come together for me. I believe there are 3 words that—if we can implement them into our lives—we will be more effective and successful in everything we do.
Purposeful. Directional. Intentional.
These 3 words are nothing groundbreaking or even new, but we often think of them in isolation. That's fine, but look what happens when we look at them as one. We need to be intentional, making sure everything we do contributes to our purpose.
Purposeful. We need to remember what our true purpose is in life—to please God, get to heaven, and take as many people with us as possible. That is our true purpose in life. Secularly speaking, we need to identify our purpose in everything we do. Once we have identified the purpose of a task, we will see better results.
Directional. Once we have identified our purpose, spiritually or secularly speaking, we now need to choose the right path that will help us get there. For example, I grew up in Louisiana for the first 18 years of my life. If I wanted to go to Nashville, I headed north. I now live in Kentucky. If I decide one day that I want to go to Nashville (purpose) and I start heading north (direction) I’m not going to get to Nashville. I can say whatever excuse or reason—“But I’ve always traveled north to get to Nashville. I’ve always done it this way”. It still doesn’t change the fact that I’m headed in the wrong direction. Too often, our direction does not match our purpose.
Intentional. It’s easy to identify a purpose and to point ourselves in the right direction, but it’s an entirely different and difficult to be intentional about DOING. We can talk all day about what our purpose is; we can talk all day about what we’re going to do to get there, but means nothing unless we are intentional, making sure everything we do contributes to our purpose.
With these 3 words in mind, let’s read 1 Corinthians 9:24-27
Don’t you know that the runners in a stadium all race, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way to win the prize. Now everyone who competes exercises self-control in everything. However, they do it to receive a crown that will fade away, but we a crown that will never fade away. Therefore I do not run like one who runs aimlessly or box like one beating the air. Instead, I discipline my body and bring it under strict control, so that after preaching to others, I myself will not be disqualified.
“Run in such a way to win the prize”—Our purpose.
“I do not run like one who runs aimlessly or box like on beating the air”—Directional.
“I discipline my body so that...”—Intentional.
These three words have motivated me to evaluate everything I do. Am I being intentional about getting (fill in the blank) accomplished? Is this not working because I’m not being intentional? Headed in the wrong direction? Misidentifying the purpose?
Strive to live a purposeful, directional, and intentional life.
Jonathan Germany is the associate minister at Holly Hill church of Christ in Frankfort, KY.
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