Procrastination eats away at the very core
of our time and motivation.
Too often we are unwilling to take risks in the present because we have failed in the past. Perhaps the first story you sent to a magazine wasn’t published, so you never wrote another story. Perhaps your first garden didn’t produce many vegetables, so you never planted another garden. Perhaps your first business proposal didn’t win the bank’s approval, so you never started your own business, and you’re still working for someone else.
Failure is never a reason to stop trying. Indeed, failure provides another opportunity to enjoy success. The apostle Paul discovered the truth of this when he met Jesus and turned from persecuting Christ to preaching the good news of God’s salvation in Him.
…I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. All of us who are mature should take such a view of things…. Only let us live up to what we have already attained (Philippians 3:12-16).
Paul was not unaware of his failures, but he refused to allow them to keep him from doing what he knew he could do. He believed that the God who had called him to serve Him would accomplish within and through him all that He had purposed. He trusted in a power higher than himself.
…I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith (Philippians 3:8-9).
Paul had messed up, but in Christ he found the reason and the strength to pick himself up and move on. You must do the same or you will never see your full potential. Refuse to be a loser no matter how many times you lose. It is better to try and fail than never to try at all. Remember, you cannot make progress by looking in the rearview mirror. To maximize your life you must let the past be past and leave it there. The Opinions of Others
Most of us have had the experience of sharing a great idea with friends only to have them tell us 50 reasons why it won’t work. Too often such criticism prompts us to abandon our ideas because we wanted those with whom we shared our dreams to approve of our plans.
Forsaking dreams because others belittle them or say we are crazy for trying them wastes potential. So does changing our plans to suit the ideas and expectations of our family, friends, and business associates. Satan uses those closest to us, whose opinions we value, to get to our potential. He kills our vision by shaking our faith in God and our confidence in ourselves. Satan uses those closest to us,
whose opinions we value,
to get to our potential.
Because the destroyer uses those you trust most to keep you from translating your vision into reality, you must accept that no one is for you except God. No human being can be trusted to defend your potential. You alone are responsible. By refusing to allow the disparaging comments of others to discourage you, by removing yourself from their influence when your vision becomes threatened, and by clinging to God’s commandments and directions, you can unleash the totality of God’s power within you.
Jesus demonstrated the importance of disregarding the opinions of others when He went to Jerusalem one Passover and the crowds believed in Him because of the miracles He performed.
But Jesus would not entrust Himself to them, for He knew all men. He did not need man’s testimony about man, for He knew what was in a man (John 2:24-25).
He had a good reason to be cautious about accepting the affirmation of the crowd: He knew the fickle nature of people. He didn’t trust their cheers and their pats on the back. Accolades should be appreciated but never required.
The events of the week preceding His death confirm the wisdom of His decision. One day the people in Jerusalem received Him with great joy and hailed Him as the Messiah. Several days later they clamored for His death. Had He relied on their praise and good will, He very well may have lost the opportunity to fulfill His God-given purpose to be the Savior of the world.
You too must beware of allowing the opinions of others to influence your decisions. Do not trust others to work for your good. Too often folks you thought were for you will turn against you and destroy what you have been working to accomplish. Remember, you are required to perform for an audience of one, the Lord Jesus Christ. When He applauds, then you are successful. Get your encouragement and promotion from God. Tap into the heavenly realm and receive the confirmation of your plans from Him because His opinion is the only one that counts. The opinions of others can destroy your potential if you permit them to touch your dreams and visions. To maximize your life you must declare independence from the opinions of others.
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