Successful people are not primarily focused on stopping bad behaviors, but they are determined to establish positive habits. Today I want to go deeper into two positive habits I have written about before 1) attaching faith to our decisions and actions, and 2) encouraging others. I believe increasing both of these will accelerate our personal victory and influence.
Attaching Faith to Our Actions and Decisions
“One person esteems one day above another; another esteems every day alike. Let each be fully convinced in his own mind” (Romans 14:5).
“But (Abraham) was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform” (Romans 4:20-21).
Our goal is to be fully convinced in our commitments, in our theology, in God’s promises, and our actions. Like Abraham, we will experience a process of being strengthened toward this goal.
There are three ways to think about our commitments and decisions:
With reluctance – “I don’t want to do this, but I believe I have to.” This is a dead work as described in Hebrews 6:1.
With passivity – “I am emotionally neutral and will wait to see what happens.”
With faith – “I am called to do this, and my participation in it is creating long-lasting positive results.” Any time we attach faith to what we are doing, energy, power, and cheerfulness is the result.
See my blog “God Loves a Cheerful Decider” for a deeper understanding of these three ways of thinking. Cheerfulness is one of the greatest evidences we have attached faith to our life commitments and the activities we are involved in.
I have been on a quest of noting where I do not have cheerfulness in what I am doing (whether it is a meeting I am attending, a deadline I need to reach, a relational commitment I have, or a financial bill I am paying. In almost every situation where I lack cheerfulness, it is a sign I have not attached faith to what I am doing. I believe when we use our non-cheerfulness as an indicator we have not attached faith to what we are doing, then we are being set up for massive growth in our lives and in our influence.
“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds . . . encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching” (Hebrews 10:24-25).
Our life is to be marked by an increased encouragement of others. Being an encourager is one of the greatest assignments we can have. I purpose to live a lifestyle of encouragement by:
Regularly verbally telling people what I appreciate about them
Writing to at least person a day telling them three reasons I admire and appreciate them
Creating opportunities under my leadership where people can encourage one another by sharing what they like and admire about them
As we encourage others, we get encouraged ourselves. Let’s go on an encouragement rampage in 2021. Our encouragement will cause people to persevere and to experience a tipping point in their lives.
These two habits (attaching faith to our decisions & commitments and encouraging others) have been key parts of my plan to increase the gifts and talents God has given me. I believe they will for you too.
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Steve Backlund was a senior pastor for seventeen years before joining the team at Bethel Church in Redding, CA in 2008. Steve is a leader developer, joy activist, a revivalist teacher, and as Senior Associate Director, is a key part of the Global Legacy (a ministry of Bethel Church) leadership team. He travels extensively throughout the world encouraging churches and leaders and has authored a number of books.