In today’s world, it’s so important for Christians to be grounded in who they are. Our culture will push you in all different directions. You need to keep your edge in order to be ready for the opportunities that God presents you.
As Stephen R. Covey famously said in The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, we need to sharpen the saw. In other words, you need to make the time to renew yourself. You are the only instrument you have to work with your entire life.
To keep your edge, take the time to do these three things daily.
Reading books is the best way to test your assumptions. And the Bible does that better than any other book. Because the Scripture measures your perspective against God’s truth.
While the Bible is the best book we can read, it is not the only book we should read. By taking the time to understand how other people have distilled the essence of their experience into written form, you will grow as a person. As 1 Thessalonians 5:21 says, test everything, so you can hold onto what’s good.
Readers are leaders, and leaders are readers. If we choose not to read on a daily basis, we insulate ourselves from refining our worldview and we abdicate our position of leadership. The person who doesn’t read is no better off than the person who can’t read.
Listening is the most important skill you can develop to distinguish your interpersonal relations and your relationship with God. Because listening is so seldom employed by people today, you will no doubt grow if you do it well.
People listen to others only so far as it enhances their own story. If what the other person says does not intersect with their own experience, it is ignored and discarded. And they go back to listening to their iPod.
Listen to understand, not make judgments. Be an active listener, not distractedly while peeking at your phone. God gave you two ears and one mouth; use them in proportion.
Spending time with God will transform you. Meditating on God’s truth and sharing with Him your appreciation of His Word and His ways will refresh your soul.
Consider David’s psalms. David routinely comes to God with a problem. Then he recounts God’s truth and His nature. As a result, his perspective changes and his peace is restored.
Our prayers do not have to be gimme lists. We can share our joys and frustrations with God, and then ask Him to apply His word to our lives so that we can have our outlook transformed.
By routinely doing these daily disciplines, you will become more of the person you want to be—and more of the person God can use. And you will keep your edge for whatever comes your way.
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