Good Intentions Are Never Good Enough
You are the sum total of every decision you have made up until right now.
Think about that for a moment.
That means every choice, every action, every word, and every habit has formed you to the person you are today. Every choice you have made has shaped your mind, your body, and yes, your soul.
That is why author/pastor Andy Stanley says, “direction, not intention determines our destination.” You can have the best intentions of where you want to be and the person you want to become. What we fail to see is that good intentions are never going to be good enough. Too many people rely solely on their intentions (what/where they want to be), yet end up in the wrong destination with their relationships, money, career, and other dreams.
Because your actual choices matter.
Think of this in a literal sense for a moment. We have a highway in Florida that runs North/South called I-95, and I am located halfway between Orlando (north) and Miami (south). Let’s suppose I am going to Disney World in Orlando this weekend with my wife. We have our tickets purchased, our Mickey ears ready to go, and have said our prayers for safe travels. Needless to say, we have the best intentions of where we will be this coming weekend.
My best intentions will not make a difference, however, if I get to I-95 and take a left (south) instead of a right (north). I could have told all the right people, prayed the best prayers, and conducted the most thorough preperation, but it will ALWAYS come down to the choice I make.
You are the sum total of every choice you have made up until right now.
Imagine for a moment where you want to be. Imagine where you would like to sit financially. Imagine the type of work you want to invest a good portion of your life. Imagine the type of husband you want to become or mother you want to be. Imagine the type of faith you want to possess.
Every habit you inherit, every addiction you struggle with, and every decision you make are going to determine your ultimate destination. Your choices matter.
Next time you spend more time with your smartphone instead of your spouse: it will matter.
Next time you stay late at work instead of being at your child’s play: it will matter.
Next time you click on that pornography site: it will matter.
Next time you share that juicy gossip: it will matter.
Next time time you pray: it will matter.
Next time you begin the morning with time in God’s Word: it will matter.
Next time you decide to sacrifice free time to serve someone: it will matter.
Next time you make it to church and spend time with God’s people: it will matter.
Your actual choices matter. They are shaping you into who you will become. No habit is too small, and no gesture is too minuscule to not make a difference. It all matters. So what steps do you do need to begin taking to reach the destination you desire? What habits do you need to develop or dissolve in your life? What priorities do you need to set to adjust or realign yourself with what is good and worthy of your attention?
These types of questions remind me of the importance of wisdom is our decision-making.
Wisdom Speaking: (Proverbs 8:12-21)
12 “I, wisdom, dwell together with prudence;
I possess knowledge and discretion.
13 To fear the Lord is to hate evil;
I hate pride and arrogance,
evil behavior and perverse speech.
14 Counsel and sound judgment are mine;
I have insight, I have power.
15 By me kings reign
and rulers issue decrees that are just;
16 by me princes govern,
and nobles—all who rule on earth.
17 I love those who love me,
and those who seek me find me.
18 With me are riches and honor,
enduring wealth and prosperity.
19 My fruit is better than fine gold;
what I yield surpasses choice silver.
20 I walk in the way of righteousness,
along the paths of justice,
21 bestowing a rich inheritance on those who love me
and making their treasuries full.
God’s chosen path for you will often times run against culture and personal pleasures. Making the wise decision does not always mean it will be the most comfortable, or even natural, decision. But it will be the right one.
5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
6 in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight.