Last year I set a goal to read or listen to fifteen books. To some of you, that’s no big deal because you read that many in a matter of weeks. Once upon a time I could do the same, but somewhere between raising children, reconciling budgets, and dinner clean-up I stopped reading anything more than my email. I became busy and simply stopped reading.
If you had asked me if I was a reader, I likely would’ve argued I was, despite my long-term hiatus from the hobby. But let’s be honest, I can’t call myself a reader if I don’t read.
I regularly write for a living; therefore, I’m a writer. I teach children to read and do math from our home, therefore I’m a home educator. I read articles about space and admire the moon through my telescope; therefore, I’m an astronomy hobbyist. The rule is simple: If you want to be identified by an action, it requires that you take action.
I finished the year at just over 50 books, which clearly makes me a reader. I applied the discipline of setting aside time to read or listen, selected material that would challenge and interest me, and tracked my progress. But the thought came to me, what if I had sought new opportunities to love people and follow Christ more intently with the same tenacity as I employed to power through those books?
I’m not a runner unless I put one sport shoe in front of the other and log some miles on the pavement. And I’m not a follower of Christ unless I actively move toward Him and do what He asks. That takes discipline and action.
Does this resonate with you? Is there an area of your life in which you need to be more of a “doer”? James 1:22 encourages us to be doers of the Word, not just hearers. Although we aren’t saved by our actions, we are saved to a life that naturally produces action.
Consider areas in which you can activate your commitment to spiritual growth:
- Make time to read God’s Word each day.
- Join a small group for accountability and encouragement.
- Serve in your local church.
- Be more intentional about teaching your children about God.
- Disciple a friend.
- Strengthen your prayer life.
I know it feels like you can’t add one more item to your calendar, but you can’t afford to not. But if I am committed to advancing the Kingdom, I’ll prioritize my time to take action toward that goal. When we do that, we’ll find our actions often multiply our passion, and we accomplish more than we expected for His glory.
It’s just like how my goal to read fifteen books that ended up being fifty. Once I started, I couldn’t stop. Action produced action, but just thinking about reading did nothing to make me a reader. Let us be people who are resolved to the action of following Christ, rather than passive supporters of Him.
About Kim Heinecke
Kim Heinecke wants to live in a world where children listen to the advice of their mothers without question. As a former single mom she’s been encouraging women using her life experiences in parenting, growing in the Word of God and everything in between. When she’s not negotiating with a teenager or wrestling a pre-schooler, you can find her camping in the family RV or pretending to understand sports with her husband and four sons. Read more from Kim at www.TheMomExperiment.com.