By Dr. Billy Holland
I was at my daughters house the other day painting one of her bedrooms, (and yes, these are things that retired fathers are happy to do). She was in another room organizing a closet while listening to the radio and a very interesting song came on. I am not really familiar with a lot of pop music, but the Michael Jackson song, “The man in the mirror” was playing and I listened intently. Certain tunes from time to time have a tendency to stick in our head and throughout the afternoon I continued to think about the depth of these lyrics. I was amazed how a simple idea about stopping to take a serious look at who we have become could be relayed into such a powerful life-changing message. Transformation is a major component within the meaning of life and what the Bible has been trying to communicate since the beginning of time.
Each week I encounter people that are in different stages of their lives and part of my mission as a minister is to help and encourage them however the Lord leads. Over the years I have come to realize that when life becomes so filled with activity, we seldom stop to think about the association between priorities and time management. And then one day we face the sobering reality that we only have a certain amount of time left to do what is important, along with the sad conclusion that much of the past we could have done better. It is wise to periodically ask ourselves what is really valuable in this life and to understand we will be recognized for how we lived more than what we accomplished. The Christian theme is blended with love and in the end, our love will be the foundation of our legacy. Here are three words that are not rules for religious legalism but simply to encourage our spiritual development and accountability.
Reflection: It is encouraging to think about how God has protected and blessed us. I can promise that you and I will never win all the races but just because we lose a few does not mean we should stop trying. If there are dysfunctions in our past that have caused us problems, we can sincerely ask Him to show us today what they are and He will help us adjust our attitude.
Examination: Experience is an excellent teacher. It is true, we are sinners and have made mistakes but when we think about missed opportunities we can also see the mighty hand of God intervening and delivering us from many harmful situations. Conducting a personal inventory is a humble process where we face our fears and discover ways to improve by drawing closer to God. Forgiveness and restoration are His specialty but grace is not an excuse for apathy.
Direction: God has a plan for everyone. Our destiny is a unique blueprint that was custom designed for us to follow but His desire for our life is not automatically accomplished. We are given a choice how we will live and this freedom allows us to be arrogantly independent or we can yield our will and humbly invite Him as our personal Lord to lead and guide us in His ways.
It might have been a catchy song but personal change is not a popular subject and it doesn’t help that our prideful nature is always ready to defend our actions by declaring the world needs to accept us as we are. Be encouraged today and know that God has a glorious vision for all of us and longs to continue doing a mighty work in our heart! It is His desire to see us succeed and He promises that if we will continue to fervently pray and seek His face, we will be transformed into a reflection of His image! Taking a personal responsibility for the way we are is a result of becoming serious about pleasing God.
(Dr. Holland lives in Central Kentucky with his wife Cheryl, where he is a Christian outreach minister and chaplain. Each week, look for his faith column, “LIVING ON PURPOSE” to find thought provoking messages of inspiration, hope and encouragement. To learn more visit: billyhollandministries.com)