Looking back, I realize how unintentional many of my choices have been. I thought that my options in life were limited to, “yes, I’ll do this” or “no, I don’t want to do this”. There were times when I didn’t consider the third option, “what’s ahead for me if I do or don’t do this?” or better yet, “is this the best thing for my life?”
I would categorize some of the most important decisions of my life as REACTIVE. They resulted from one of the following:
- I had two options and I chose what seemed best.
- I was forced to choose by a set of circumstances or an unpleasant situation.
Emotions, feelings and circumstances influence a reactive choice. On the other hand, a proactive choice is based more on facts, preparation, planning. It’s the difference between going on a diet because you gained weight and eating wisely to prevent weight gain.
I have made some well-thought out choices, such as writing a book and starting my own business, but I’d like to become more consistently PROACTIVE in my life. Proactive means to think beforehand, plan, consider how a choice will affect my future, take steps, make something happen, create. If I come up with a new idea, then take action to pursue it, that is truly being proactive. It has elements of “innovation” coming to life!
Proactive – God’s Way
As a Christian, I desire to be proactive God’s way. I want to be careful that my effort to be more intentional doesn’t doesn’t edge over into the self-serving or self-indulgent realm. Being proactive in life begins with being proactive with God. That means continuing to strongly pursue my relationship with Him, study His Word and spend time in prayer.
Being proactive is NOT taking control of my own life and disregarding the Lordship of Jesus Christ.
There are some inevitable obstacles to proactive living. The biggest obstacle is fear, which I struggle with when I think of my ideas, hopes and dreams. Almost immediately, fear speaks loudly, “you can’t do that, it’s out of your reach.” Then there’s lack of motivation or discipline. How many times do I feel comfortable and just don’t want to stir up my circumstances? Being proactive means I might have to exchange the comfort for the unknown! Finally, laziness might get in the way; it takes work to create, pursue, seek, engage and act.
The Apostle Paul is such a good example of proactive living. Even when he spent time in prison, he wrote powerful letters to churches that eventually became books of the New Testament. Think of all of the lives he has changed because even while in prison, he proactively put his skills to good use in serving the Lord!
What are some practical ways I can become more proactive?
- Not allow myself to stay in comfortable, reactive living.
- Purposefully come up with ideas and ways to serve God using the abilities and resources He has given me.
- Be willing to wait on God when He directs me to be patient (yes, at times waiting is part of being proactive!)
- Be proactive in looking for ways to share God with others, not simply answer questions when asked.
- Move ahead without fear when I sense God is leading me to proactively walk into the unknown.
Why don’t you join me in becoming more proactive? If you have any great ideas, share them in a comment on this blog post!
“Remember this, whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, but whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.” 2 Corinthians 9:6