Don’t expect what other people have, unless you’re willing to pay the price they paid to get it.
Some say we live in the age of entitlement. People have a tendency to want or even expect what other people have – without being willing to pay the price they paid to get it.
Some newly weds or homeowners expect the same standard of living as their retired parents, not realising it took their parents their entire lives working and saving to be in a position to live that way.
We want to lose weight and be fit and healthy, but don’t want to spend the hours in the gym we need to. We want the “body” but aren’t willing to let go of the chocolate!
The same can be true of churches and ministries. We see a “big church” (which is not necessarily a measure of success) and want our church to be the same. A Bible teacher draws in a crowd of hundreds, and we feel we ought to have at least the same.
What we often fail to understand is that these things all come at a cost and a sacrifice. Whether in ministry or in business or life in general, success takes time and patience. We may be watching the end result of years of hard work, expecting to have it all in a few weeks.
I encourage you to have goals and dreams, but set realistic expectations. Don’t look at others and covet what they have. Do what they did to get it. Learn from them, and strive towards your goals.
And remember, we usually only ever see the “edited highlights” of a person’s life. Instagram and Facebook are very selective windows into a person’s world.
We need desire, not discipline, to do the things of God
Most Christians would agree on some of the important things we ought to do as part of our faith. I’m thinking of things such as prayer, reading the Bible or sharing our faith with others. If these are indeed important, then do you feel you do them enough?
Most would probably say no.
We know that prayer and reading the Bible are important for building up our faith and our relationship with God. We know we ought to share our faith with those who haven’t yet heard about it, because no one else can do it. So what can we do?
Many would say we need discipline. We need to discipline ourselves to put down the mobile phone, or switch off the TV set, and do the things we know we should be doing.
We need desire however, not discipline.
While discipline has its place, if we really want to get things done, we need a desire to do them. Discipline only goes so far, but ultimately we do the things we want to do.
Ask God to grow your desire to pray, to read the Word and to share your faith with others. When you have the desire, you won’t need the discipline.
Wisdom means making decisions today that you will be happy with tomorrow.
There are a number of definitions of wisdom I suppose, but I happen to like this one!
How often do we make choices one day, that we regret the next? Ultimately life is a series of choices and we must make ones that will benefit us, not harm us. It’s not always clear which is the right choice, so we must consider God’s will and about which choice is best not just for the here and now, but for the future also.
Take a simple example such as healthy eating. Perhaps you are someone who wants to lose weight, and even if not, you can still understand the point here. Do you eat the doughnut, or do you take the apple? In the moment, the doughnut may seem the most tempting, but consider not just how you feel now, but how you will feel later when standing on the scales or trying on new clothes.
Similarly, when making a purchase, it may be tempting right now, but will the monthly payments for the next four years really be what you want to do with your money?
Wisdom means choosing not what you want right now, but what will be best in the future. Make decisions today that you will be happy with tomorrow.