Habits of Highly Effective Christ-Followers
Begin with the End in Mind – Part I
Scripture Reading: Galatians 6:1-10 NLT
Key Verse: Galatians 6:8 NLT
Those who live only to satisfy their own sinful nature will harvest decay and death from that sinful nature. But those who live to please the Spirit will harvest everlasting life from the Spirit.
The second habit that Stephen Covey describes in his book on highly effective people is that they begin planning with the end in mind. In other words, they decide where they want to end up and make sure their plans help get them to that place.
Covey talks about the fact that highly effective people create things twice, once in their minds and then in the reality of our world.
A humorous illustration Covey uses talks about workers clearing a path in a jungle. The effective leader climbs high in a tree and shouts down “we’re in the wrong jungle”. This is another way of describing this idea of making sure everyone’s hard work is getting the group to the place that they truly want to be.
Once again, we can easily relate this habit to our walk with God. The New Testament is full of scriptures reminding believers to look beyond the immediate to our eternity. Our Key Verse for today is an example of this kind of thinking.
Some people live to satisfy their own sinful nature because that is what screams the loudest. God calls Christ-followers to deny the loud screaming of their fleshly nature and listen to the quiet voice of the Holy Spirit.
The highly effective Christ-follower looks ahead and lives to please God’s Spirit, knowing that that path leads to everlasting life. One might say that highly effective Christ-followers “climb a tall tree” and shout down “that behavior won’t lead to eternal life”.
As the Apostle Paul wrote:
Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.” (Galatians 5:25)
Highly effective Christ-followers have learned to base all their plans, their behaviors, and their words on how it effects their eternity. First Corinthians 10:31 reminds us:
So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.
Jesus framed this idea of how to begin with the end in mind when He said:
“What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul?” (Mark 8:36-37)
We might internalize these truths into our marriages; what good will it do to win every argument, if in the end we do not act or speak like someone who walks with Jesus?
Or what benefit is there for a businessperson who cheats his customers or cheats on his taxes to make a few extra bucks but in the end loses his soul?
Those who want to end with eternal life must be willing to begin with that end in mind!
Father, please remind me to make all my decisions with where I want to end up: in Your arms for all eternity! In Jesus’s name I pray, amen.