The Danger of Failure After Victory.

We always hear people telling us to never quit. “Never give up”, they say. Keep on keeping on. This is all meant to file2291276515266encourage us when the going gets tough or we had to face defeat and we need some motivation.

But did you know that not only do many people quit after defeat, but many people also quit after a victory.

This brings us to today’s nugget which is nugget # 17 in John L. Mason’s book An Enemy Called Average. It says; “Don’t quit after a victory”.

Don’t Quit After a Victory

It is so ironical (even sad), that often after a victory, many people tend to quit. At first it doesn’t seem to be quitting. They don’t believe they are quitting either. There is often much excitement and hype. But the trap is in the fact that they get so caught up in their victory and in celebrating, that they lose momentum. They spend too much time admiring the results of their victory or in celebration, and by the time they realise that they need to continue on their victorious journey, they have lost momentum and have to start all over again.

Don’t cash in, cast into deeper water – Robert Schuller

Sometimes people want to just have a break after that great victory and also lose their momentum. When they realise they need to start all over again they are often not up to the challenge and just quit.

Does this mean that we are not even allowed to celebrate our victories or take a break sometimes? No, by all means you can celebrate and take a break. But there is a time and a place for everything (Ecclesiastes 3:1; Ecclesiastes 3:8). When you can see that you are heading for victory, don’t stop planning (Proverbs 15:22). Set out a time for celebration as part of your victory and keep moving on…..keep your momentum. This will lead to the next victory, and the next…..and the next…..and the next.

Plan your time to take a break (it is essential to get rest), but schedule your time and stick to it. If you have everything under control, you should be able to plan your time for resting without losing your momentum. You might have to take shorter breaks during your early victories and then you can start increasing your times of rest as you become stronger and achieve bigger victories.

Momentum Can Make You Unstoppable.

John Mason also uses the example of a large boulder at the top of a hill. It is true that it will take a lot of effort to initially get that boulder moving. But by continuously rocking it, eventually it will start moving. Once it starts moving while you are still on a flat surface, you will have to keep pushing and rolling to maintain the momentum, but the more momentum you gain, the easier it becomes to maintain it. The moment you stop, you will have to start all over again. Then, when you reach the downhill, that boulder starts rolling by itself and becomes almost unstoppable.

The same is true for us when achieving success in life.

John Mason gives five ways to have divine momentum in your life:

  1. Be fruitful. (2 Cor. 9:10)
  2. Speak the truth (Eph. 4:15)
  3. Be spiritually mature (Heb. 6:1)
  4. Crave the Word of God (1 Pet. 2:2)
  5. Grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus (2 Pet. 3:18)

The definition of spiritual momentum as God defines it can be found in 2 Peter 1:3-8 (NIV): His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.

For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Maintain Your Momentum

Don’t allow one victory to break your momentum. Stay focused, stay calm and continue on your journey of continuous victory.

Over to you now. Do you get side-tracked easily? What do you do you stay focused? I look forward to hearing from you.

Caught Out: Your Excuse Is Just a Lie

How many times have you made excuses for not fulfilling your purpose in life? How many times did you justify your actions for postponing? Is it because you think you don’t have what it takes? I know I’ve done it many times.

Today’s nugget for discussion is nugget #16 as John L. Mason describes it in his book An Enemy Called Average.

The nugget he mentions is as follow: An alibi is just a lie.

Note:

  • According to the Oxford dictionary an Alibi is a “plea that one was in another place at the time of an alleged act or crime…”. But for the purpose of this post, this is how John Mason used the word in his nugget. As normal, from here on forward I will just discuss the concept from my own point of view.)

There is no way we can argue with what John Mason says in his book; quitting, giving up, failing, judging – all these begin with an excuse. He goes further to point out that you should never allow an obstacle in your life to become an alibi – which is simply egotism turned the wrong side out.

What you’ll get from this article:radian cimetery 4

  • Success Is Not A Dirty Word, Stop Using Religion As An Excuse
  • Focus On the Positives in a Sea of Negativity
  • Fear Is Not Necessary When You Have Trust
  • An Alibi Is Just a Lie
  • Stop Making Excuses and Be The Best You That You Can Be

It is amazing how we are always looking for excuses. And the cherry on top of this is the fact that we always think we know better. Deep inside ourselves we often know what we ought to be doing, or at least we have this urge to do something we feel we should be doing. Yet, we never respond to those feelings, because we just cannot see how we would be able to be successful at it. Or sometimes it just doesn’t seem to be worthwhile looking at it from a financial point of view. So, whatever we can come up with, we start making excuses as to why we just cannot do it.

Focus On the Positives in a Sea of Negativity

We seem to be relying so much on the economy of the world and our own abilities, that we forget that God – who has created us and knows us better that we know ourselves – is more than able to sustain us. We forget about Hebrews 13:5 that say “Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”

Daily we are bombarded with bad news about recessions and depression due to the bad economy. Many sincere Christian people get filled with fear when listening to these news bulletins. Already living from pay check to pay check is hard enough as it is, and with these constant threats of the bad economy, it seems as if things can only get worse. They’ve lost their ability to dream as well. What is the sense of planning and believing for a bright future in these bad economic times?

Yet, if you look around you, there are always successful business people prospering all over the world. They live in nice houses and drive around in the best cars.

I can hear you say “yes, but we’ve just read in Hebrews 13:5 to keep our lives free from the love of money and be content with what we have”.

Exactly. God instructs us to keep ourselves free from the love of money. It is not the money that is evil. And being content with what you have, means that God will give you the means to be successful with the talents that you have and the wisdom that you can receive from Him. Do not miss the last part of the verse where God also promises to never leave you nor forsake you.

When somebody makes a promise to look after my well-being and to take good care of me, I expect good things to happen. I don’t expect to be left at the mercy of the world. How much more would I expect God to live up that promise? Why should I always accept second best, while God has promised to take good care of me?

What makes the difference is your attitude. Do you place your trust in riches or in God?

Read what happened to Solomon in 2 Chronicles 1:7-12: “That night God appeared to Solomon and said to him, “Ask for whatever you want me to give you.”

Solomon answered God, “You have shown great kindness to David my father and have made me king in his place. Now, Lord God, let your promise to my father David be confirmed, for you have made me king over a people who are as numerous as the dust of the earth. 10 Give me wisdom and knowledge, that I may lead this people, for who is able to govern this great people of yours?”

11 God said to Solomon, “Since this is your heart’s desire and you have not asked for wealth, possessions or honor, nor for the death of your enemies, and since you have not asked for a long life but for wisdom and knowledge to govern my people over whom I have made you king, 12 therefore wisdom and knowledge will be given you. And I will also give you wealth, possessions and honor, such as no king who was before you ever had and none after you will have.”

This is the safe way: asking for wisdom and knowledge from God first, then riches.

We read in 1 Timothy 6:10 “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs”. Again we see that it is the love of money which is the root of all kinds of evil. Money in itself is not evil. It is all about who is in possession of it and what it is applied for.

God would not have blessed Solomon with riches if it was evil. Neither would He have done it for Abraham (Genesis 13:2), Isaac (Genesis 26:13) or for Jacob (Genesis 30:43), just to name a few more examples.

Be content with what you have, asking God for wisdom in how to use it and multiply it. Then rely on God for receiving wisdom every day, irrespective of the economy of the world, to be successful. Philippians 4:13 says “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me”.

Fear Is Not Necessary When You Have Trust

Mankind is supposed to rule on earth (Genesis 1:26), we are not supposed to be filled with fear. We are supposed to be responsible in handling our money and use it for good purpose. But we shouldn’t rely on money for our well-being; we should trust the living God. To be content with what we have (Hebrews 13:5), doesn’t mean we are allowed to only have a little of anything. Putting our trust in money creates the danger that our dreams, our need for well-being and happiness, become dependent on attaining lots of money. With God, our well-being is about much more than just money. It is about love, being healthy, being fulfilled and satisfied in every aspect. And yes, it might even include money as well. There is nothing wrong with having money, as long as money doesn’t have you.

To live by faith, doesn’t mean becoming irresponsible by making silly decisions about relying on God for provision. But God knows what your talents are. He will open doors for you and lead you to meet with the right people. Jeremiah 29:11 says “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future”.

So there is no reason not to be content with what you have, with that being the starting point. God has given you certain talents and abilities. You have all the reasons in the world to be content with what you have.

Proverbs 10:22 (NIV) says “The blessing of the Lord brings wealth, without painful toil for it.” (It might be a good idea to read other translations as well, to get  a more rounded understanding). This is how the same verse is translated in the King James Version; The blessing of the Lord, it maketh rich, and he addeth no sorrow with it”.

An Alibi Is Just a Lie

We are all quick to make excuses when confronted with making choices. We need to understand when we are taking the soft option and be more honest with ourselves and others.

When confronted with a challenge, we go to the Bible to see how we should respond. Let’s look at two examples.

  1. In the book of Exodus we can see Moses trying every excuse in the book to avoid taking up the challenge. In Exodus 4:10-12 he came to the end of his excuses and decided to trust God; “10 Moses said to the Lord, “Lord, I am not a man of words. I have never been. Even now since You spoke to Your servant, I still am not. For I am slow in talking and it is difficult for me to speak.” 11 Then the Lord said to him, “Who has made man’s mouth? Who makes a man not able to speak or hear? Who makes one blind or able to see? Is it not I, the Lord? 12 So go now. And I will be with your mouth. I will teach you what to say.”
  2. Gideon also argued with God in Judges 6:15-16 “15 Gideon said to Him, “O Lord, how can I save Israel? See, my family is the least in Manasseh. And I am the youngest in my father’s house.” 16 But the Lord said to him, “For sure I will be with you. You will destroy Midian as one man.”

In both these cases, these two men had their doubts and lacked the confidence in their own abilities. Yet, they both decided to stop making excuses and trust God, and both men were victorious.

Stop Making Excuses and Be The Best You That You Can Be.

Stop thinking of all the reasons why you can’t do what you know you’ve been called to do. I do not say you should ignore wise council and constructive criticism, but stop being overly concerned about other people’s opinions, or what people are going to say.

You’ll end up regretting what you have not done, rather than what you have tried at, and failed (and who knows how many successes you might have had).

God will not place a dream in your heart that you cannot achieve. So stop making excuses and resist fear because 2 Timothy 1:7 (NLV) says “For God did not give us a spirit of fear. He gave us a spirit of power and of love and of a good mind”.

  • Start dreaming again – it is a God-given ability – and start working towards them.
  • Are you constantly making excuses or shying away from what you believe you should be doing?
  • What are your dreams? What do you believe your calling is and what is keeping you from it?

Let me know in the comment section below and let’s discuss it. I look forward to hearing from you.

Smile. It Adds Value To Your Face.

No, this is not “Smile, you’re on candid camera”. But a smile does add value to your face though.meandlo.jpg

Have you ever noticed how people are drawn to friendly people?

This week we get to nugget #15 in John Mason’s book An Enemy Called Average. The nugget for this week says “Smile. It adds value to your face”.

John Mason rightly states in his book that Christians should be the happiest people on earth. We should be full of joy and enthusiastic about life. As a matter of fact (as he further indicates), the word enthusiasm comes from a Greek word, entheous which means ”God within” or “full of God”. Sad to say, but looking at many Christians today, you would never say that .

I often hear well meaning Christian people talking about “how bad the world is today”. And rightly so, there are a lot of evil and bad things happening in the world right now. But what difference do we make when we walk around in depression. The world is already filled with sorrow, stress and depression. If we walk around with our long faces, what do we offer the world that they don’t already have? Let me rephrase that; If we walk around talking about all our problems and how bad the world is, who on earth would want what we’ve got. Everybody has got enough of their own problems and concerns; they don’t need to carry someone else’s too.

This might sound harsh, but it’s reality. We are supposed to shine our light in the world, not share in the darkness.

Smile. It Adds Value To Your Face.

So you might ask how we can walk around smiling at the world while facing crime, corruption and all kinds of evil today. You will find the answer in John 15:10-11 “10 When you obey me you are living in my love, just as I obey my Father and live in his love. 11 I have told you this so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your cup of joy will overflow!” (Jesus speaking)

We also need to forgive. Mark 11:24-25 says “24 Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.

25 And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.”

If we obey the commandment of love and we learn to forgive, there is a freedom available to us that we cannot even comprehend.

Over the past two weeks I’ve been watching interviews with Dr. Caroline Leaf, a neuroscientist from South Africa. I was amazed how she described the functions of the brain and our thought patterns with the effects it has on our lives. And every time she would refer to scripture from the Bible and explain the physical effect it has on the brain.

I recall one example where she mentioned how she met with a young lady while teaching in Africa. She was just drawn to this young woman. She says this lady was so friendly, with such a shining personality; you are just drawn to her and want to have a conversation with her. Only after meeting and speaking to her, she learned that this young woman went through a time of abuse where she was sold into the sex trade, and got raped up to 100 times per day.

She got delivered and today she is a happily married woman, teaching other victims of similar crimes how to get healed and how to forgive.

Even in This World, We have Much to Be Thankful For.

Yes, the world is full of evil, and when we learn about crimes and abuse such as mentioned above, it fills us with horror. Yet, “….we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” (Ephesians 6:12).

If a victim of such crimes can learn to forgive, and shine her light today, what right do we have to walk around in depression, moaning and groaning about how wicked the world is and how hard life is?

Jesus has risen and we have been set free. We have all the reason in the world to shine our light and be cheerful. We have so much to offer what a broken world is in desperate need of. Let’s put that smile back on our faces, it actually adds value to more than just our faces.

“So encourage each other to build each other up, just as you are already doing” (1 Thessalonians 5:11 TLB).

What do you have that you can be thankful for and what can you smile about? Let’s join in discussion, I look forward to hear from you.