If you were given two options for 2010, one of comfort and peace and the other of hardship and potential pain, what would you choose? Now, think about something before you answer. One leads to growth, the other to stagnation.
Recently I listened to a message by Pastor Francis Chan of Cornerstone Community Church in Simi Valley, CA, on this very issue. He posed the question of character growth and whether or not we truly care about, or even think about, the state of our character. We think in terms of to-do lists and achievements rather than integrity and who we are becoming. We want comfort and good times, rather than endure pain and discomfort that leads to growth.
Let’s look at a snapshot from my life to illustrate. I have come to understand a very troubling and damaging habit that has been present for many years. Lying. As I take account of my life, especially over recent years, I notice that, in times of conflict, I would result to lying in order to avoid the conflict. It could have been over something silly or serious, it didn’t seem to matter. It was like a defense-mechanism. And all the time, I failed to see the damage being done to my character. As all character damaging things do, it started out small and grew to be a monster. The greatest victims were those closest to me. So now I have little credibility with those loved ones and have come to grips with the fact that it is going to take time to rebuild the trust lost. Had I taken the time to consider what I was doing to my character, I could have avoided an immense amount of pain.
Have you ever thought about who you are becoming? Many of us can spout off what we want to do, but have we put thought toward who we want to be? As you look at your 2010 vision, consider setting “be” goals instead of “do” goals.