Monday, August 5, 2013

What story do you want to tell?

“Behold, with me here, my master does not concern himself with anything in the house, and he has put all that he owns in my charge.”  Genesis 39:8b NASB

We spent some time yesterday talking about decision making.  Specifically, the idea of making decisions without regrets.  I shared that there are a series of four questions that can be used as a guide to help with this process.  Of course, there is no guarantee, but the disciplined use of these four questions will help us to make better decisions, and hopefully live life without regret.

The first of the four questions is listed above, what story to do I want to tell.  This question is based on the fact that whatever decision I am facing, it will one day be part of my story.  If I am deliberate with my decision making, then I get the opportunity to decide how this story will go, based upon the decisions I make.

I shared a quick story about my college days.  I was a straight A student at Springtown High School, won several academic awards, and finished ranked high in my class.  So I went to college with some degree of confidence that I could handle what I had signed up for.  Much to my surprise, three semesters later I received a letter that alerted me that my 1.8 GPA was not sufficient, and I was being placed on academic probation.  I didn’t even know what that was!

As I shared yesterday, this letter left me at a crossroad.  In some ways, it doesn’t matter how I got to the crossroad.  Right?  I mean, you can’t do anything about that, it’s behind you.  It’s what happens next that is so important.  It’s what happens next that determines what my story will be.

There is a truth that I know about me, and I bet that it is true for you as well.  It is simply this; I really do want to be able to tell my whole story, without skipping any parts.  I mean, when my kids ask me about parts of my life, I want to be able to tell them the truth about those times, without hiding anything, and without having to lie about anything.  I want the story to be tell-able.

So if that is true, then I need to pay close attention to these situations that pop up in my life that place me at a crossroads.  For me, I basically had two options; 1) drop out of school and go to work full-time or 2) press on and figure out a way to get over this hurdle that was in my path.  Thankfully, I chose the latter and finished up a few years later with great grades and a 3.2 overall.

I will say that although looking back it seems like a no-brainer decision, I actually arrived there very much by the grace of God.  I didn’t have the decision making tool set that I have now.  In fact, even the question of this devotional was foreign to me.  I have to give all the glory to Him for guiding me through that time in my life.  As much as I believe that He wants to do this for us in every season of life, we all know that we are not always good at following His prompting.

So, in order to insure against the bad decisions that can be waiting around the corner for us, we need a template to help us to work through them as they come.  The first step in the template I am proposing is to ask the question, “What story do I want to tell?”  If applied regularly, it will go a long way toward protecting us from bad decisions and help us to live the life that Jesus came to give us.

Scripture to Claim:
“…I came that they may have life, and might have it abundantly.”  (John 10:10b)

Submitted By Keith Warren

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