Christian Life Strategy: Why Yours May Fail

Why Your Christian Life Strategy May Fail

You’ve determined that you want to live your life well – for the things that count.

Perhaps you have a vague idea of what your life mission is. Maybe you even set aside some time to think deeply and went so far as to write down a life purpose or even 10- and 5-year plans.

But your strategy may fall flat on its face. And your life may still be wasted.

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Thursday Time Tip: Focus on Outcomes, Not Activity

Focus on Outcomes Not Activity

A costly mistake we can make is to measure our productivity the wrong way: how many hours we work, how early we woke up, how much time we’ve blocked off without interruptions to focus on that latest project.

But we all realize that what really matters is the results, not how long we worked. So obviously let’s shift our focus to what’s truly important to measure.

It’s a simple mindset switch, but it’s powerful.

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The Time Management Version of the Prosperity Gospel

time-management-prosperity-gospel

You have probably heard of the so-called “prosperity gospel” – a false teaching that has taken root across America. Smiling preachers with Rolex watches claim that Jesus came to earth to give you health, wealth, and your wildest dreams.

The prosperity gospel is rightfully condemned by many. Unfortunately it has led many others astray.

But a similar philosophy is just as prevalent among many believers with an interest in time management. We, too, sometimes approach the subject of Christian productivity with an unhealthy agenda.

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Thursday Time Tip: Plan a Response to Obstacles

Plan a Response to Obstacles

I’m going to start up a new feature here on Life of a Steward – the plan is to offer very brief time management tips every Thursday (in case you couldn’t figure that out from the headline). So please let me know if you think this is a worthwhile feature or not.

I had a friend who was an FBI agent and regularly had to approach all sorts of people for interviews and questioning. He talked occasionally with suspects but most of the time was in completely normal and safe conversations. Yet, in training, he was taught to think in every situation, “What would I do when this person pulls a gun on me?”

Not if they pull a gun on me, but when they pull a gun on me.

This mental exercise – not just considering the possibility of danger but actually anticipating it – helped him react a split second faster.

I have another friend who trains athletes. He’ll take on high school kids and develop them into Division I athletes and even on to professional leagues.

If he sees a kid with high potential, he doesn’t tell them, “You’re going to be a successful athlete.” He will tell them, “If you commit yourself and work hard, you can be a successful athlete.”

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Science Confirms the Power of a Biblical Source of Motivation

Science Confirms the Power of a Biblical Source of Motivation

In the scriptures, we find many motivations to flee sin and to do good.

We can be driven, for instance, by a desire to avoid eternal wrath, to pursue heavenly reward, to steer clear of the earthly consequences of our sin, or to express our love of Christ.

All of these are great motivators, and it’s an act of mercy from God to give us reason upon reason to live holy lives.

But psychological research has shown that perhaps one scriptural basis for righteousness may be particularly powerful – especially as it relates to mundane, every day tasks.

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Learning to Love New Habits: How I Lost 100 Pounds – Episode 22

Learning to Love New Habits

Play
Duration 18:22

We talk a lot about finding a job that you love, finding the ministry position that you love, or finding the morning routine that you love.

Is our love a fixed constant that we have to organize our life around? Or is it more flexible?

Can we learn to love something?

Can we learn to love a new habit? Can we learn to love a stifling discipline? Can we learn to love our current job, position, ministry, and situation?

I’m convinced that we can. Because I’ve done it.

In this episode, I take a brief look at learning to love a new habit or your job – and the lessons that I learned in the process of losing 100 pounds.
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Geeky Theory: Evaluating Your System’s Storage and Movement

Storage and Movement

This is a pretty geeky post about some underlying concepts in productivity. If you are looking for brief and practical tips, check out more of those posts here. But hopefully these thoughts are helpful as we strive to be as effective as possible.

I’ve talked before about finding a productivity approach that works for you. Everyone’s situations, responsibilities, strengths, and personality quirks are different, so ideally everyone will have their own unique tool belt.

But how do you know what’s right for you? How do you evaluate your system?

There are many things to look at: from the sustainability of a system to whether or not we have fun using it.

But today I wanted to focus on two elements: storage and movement.

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Is Church Service Stealing Your Time for Christ?

Church Service Stealing Time

The following is a guest post from Joy Collado.

One of the best ways for us to serve God is to offer our services in our church. Our faiths and fellowship with others are strengthened and renewed.

I’ve often dreamed of working for our local church. Perhaps you can call me a “church lurker.” I go to church religiously, sit there and sing praises, listen to the sermon, and then go home. I always thought, I wished there was a way for me to serve God more than sitting in the pew and listening to the pastors.
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The Two Biblical Ingredients for Effective Priorities and Strong Motivation

Biblical Priorities And Motivation

Every day we’re surrounded with a dizzying amount of choices. At every point in our lives, we have option upon option set before us.

There are decisions of all sizes: What career to choose? Should we serve on this committee at church? Should we take a five-minute break now? Should we quit our job and become a missionary in China? Should we spend today working on project A or project B? Should we exercise tonight or spend time with family?

How do we choose? How do we prioritize well?

And then how do we summon up the motivation to live out those priorities? Let’s be honest: Sometimes procrastinating on the internet is way more tempting than work.

In the first chapter of Philippians, Paul gives us divine wisdom on this issue. Tucked into his opening greeting, Paul gives us two simple ingredients for having wise priorities and robust motivation.

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The Subtle Secret: Master the Mundane

Master the Mundane

I have a friend who is a former world-class athlete. According to him, in his prime he was pound-for-pound the strongest man who had ever lived – and he has the world records to prove it.

Now he trains NFL players, top-level college athletes, Olympic hopefuls, and high performers in a variety of sports.

The one thing that my friend stresses as the key to success – the one thing that really separates the elite from the rest – is not talent, knowledge, or even hard work.

It’s mastering the mundane.

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