Okay. Truth. Our faith should shape how we act and speak and think. And if we are intending but not doing, what does that say about the health of our faith? It’s time for action, friend.
Good intentions are not good enough. Having intentions but not acting on them is procrastination. Can you really wait until later to follow God? Do you have the time to wait?
We opened this series asking ourselves what intentions we had that we just weren’t moving to action on.
- Are we being nice but not kind because kind requires loving others?
- Are we spewing angry or bitter words because we feel justified in that?
- Are we gossiping when we shouldn’t be?
- _________ (I’ll leave a blank here for you to fill in what you’ve been intending to do.)
The challenge was to
- stop intending to love others and actually start truly loving them,
- stop intending to stop being angry and stop the anger,
- stop intending to quit gossiping and to actually quit.
IN week 2, I challenged you to start doing the good things you have intended to do, to stop making excuses and to make time to get your intentions into actions. And then I said we would talk about our intentions always being grounded in our faith. And that’s where we want to park today.
Friend, our intentions should move us to action because when we have an intention, it is because we have identified a need. Example … if you intend to start exercising, it’s because you know that you are unhealthy or headed toward that reality. If you intend to stop using curse words, it’s because you feel they are crass and unnecessary. If you intend to quit gossiping, it’s because you know that it’s a sin and harmful to you and others. A NEED has been IDENTIFIED so you form an INTENTION. Simple and profound.
So what the heck stops us?? Answer… all sorts of things. Our pride. Our selfishness. Our fear. Our anxiety. Our laziness. Our procrastination. Our “tomorrow” attitude.
And the sad thing is that we seem to be totally able to keep all of our intentions that are negative and unworthy. We intend to get back at someone who harms us, and we do. We intend to let our spouse know how much he/she hurt us, and we do. Fill in the blank here too.
Why when ours or peoples’ intentions are bad do we seem to move those to action and get things done?? Because we are emotionally motivated. We have bought in. Our passion to see the other person get what he or she deserves drives us. Or the desire for a high or the “need” to look good in the eyes of other people drives us. All of those deep motivators cause us to make sure that bad intentions get accomplished.
So we need the same drive, motivation, passion when it comes to our good intentions.
Our intentions come out of our core values and what we hold in our hearts as true and valuable. (See last month’s series on core values.) We can determine what’s inside by allowing the Word of God to pierce us and show us what we are holding within.
Let’s move to having intentions that we are passionate about. Ephesians 5:10 is our guide. Let me paraphrase it for you…
Find out what God wants you to do and then go do it.
Pretty simple. Or NOT. Our intention should be to do intentionally whatever God wants us to do. And he doesn’t want us to do dishonorable things. He doesn’t want us to be angry, to gossip, to criticize for no gain, to answer with sarcasm, to yell, and on and on. He doesn’t want us to do with our communication most of what we do regularly. What the world tells us is okay to do. And he doesn’t want us to be lazy and not care about our communication either. (See the Matthew 12:36 quote about empty words). He wants us to deeply care about our communication with others. He wants us to be intentional and mindful and purposeful with every word, gesture, expression, silence. He has intention and he wants us to follow that intention in our own lives.
So how do we ground our intentions in our faith? I think that we keep our intentions grounded in our faith by making them PROMISES to ourselves, others, and God. When our intentions become promises, we can look to God as our supreme example of how to keep our promises.
Connie Benoit Sirois
Author | Speaker | Trainer
We are called to love others as ourselves. Our communication gives us continual opportunities to do this. We should never miss a chance to honor others. I’d love for you to read about my mission.
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