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Romans 12:2 (NLT)

Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. 

Colossians 3:12 (NLT)

Since God chose you to be the holy people He loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. 

James 1:6-8 (TPT) 

Just make sure you ask empowered by confident faith without doubting that you will receive. For the ambivalent person believes one minute and doubts the next. Being undecided makes you become like the rough seas driven and tossed by the wind. You’re up one minute and tossed down the next. When you are half-hearted and wavering it leaves you unstable 

Those who know me know that my favorite word, life word if you will, is INTENTIONALITY. Not because I have mastered what it means to live intentionally or because I have it all figured out, but because focusing on intentionality really does produce growth. Intentionality is about focusing our attention on the why behind the what. As a licensed professional counselor and a human that deals with my own struggles, I find that it can be easy to be swept up in the daily routine of life… going to work or school, running errands, going to church on Sundays, etc. A lot of times these things become boxes that need check marks and once completed we can keep moving in this endless cycle. But when we really dig into the Bible it’s plain to see that that’s not all we were meant for as Christ followers. Every day Jesus woke up and had adventure after life-changing adventure not because those things were on his list of things to get done before he could go to sleep but because there was a Heavenly intention to what he was doing, to his purpose for being. And we have that too! Colossians 3:12 says “Since God chose you to be the holy people He loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.” This scripture shows us that God loves us and has a purpose for us… that we get to choose to move within our worlds and those we interact with as responsive, loving, humble, and patient people. Every day that we wake up and get dressed, we have a choice. Once we decide to get dressed, we even have a choice of what to wear that day. God is urging us to choose to dress ourselves in his qualities to show love to a world that needs it. Romans 12:2 says “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” This scripture further emphasizes for us to not imitate others in our behaviors with no thoughts of our own or, in other words, “with no why behind the what.” Instead, we are to intentionally seek God daily and ask for Him to help us “be transformed in our thinking”, essentially giving us intentional thoughts that lead to intentional behaviors that lead us to the “perfect and pleasing will of God for our lives.” What a rush that He has a “pleasing” adventure for our lives! But what are some action steps that can help us live more intentionally? Here are a few to get you started:

 

    1. Seek God daily in a way that works for you… ask Him in the shower, on your drive to school or work, or any other prayer time you have how you can live more intentionally for Him. God will be faithful to show you. James 1:6-8 says “Just make sure you ask empowered by confident faith without doubting that you will receive. For the ambivalent person believes one minute and doubts the next. Being undecided makes you become like the rough seas driven and tossed by the wind. You’re up one minute and tossed down the next. When you are half-hearted and wavering it leaves you unstable.”
    2. With a close friend, spouse, or even by yourself take some time to consider some value words that speak to you and who you are… remember, God made you so the values that you hold near and dear are keys to you living more intentionally. In my experience, many people have never taken the time to contemplate what values are core to who they are and it’s when they make the time to process and name them, they can better align their actions with these core values and this leads to stronger intentionality and living a more fulfilled life. In order to get you started with considering your top values (I recommend keeping it to 10 or less) you can google “list of values” or check out this list that I found: https://soulsalt.com/list-of-values-and-beliefs/
    3. Once you are able to name your core values, ask a trusted friend, spouse, or other family member to explore with you the ways in which your daily actions and words line up with these values. If you find some places where you can improve don’t get discouraged because that’s actually great news because it’s another step closer to you living more intentionally. Don’t forget to tell your close friend, spouse, or other family member “thanks” for helping you get better… it’s not always easy having these conversations.
    4. Don’t forget that living intentionally is closely related to growth. As beings who hopefully never stop growing these core values may not always remain the same. They may change as you grow, encounter new people in your world, and may vary as you move from life season to season. For this reason, action steps 1-3 are a continual cycle of self-exploration that we need to remember to embrace and not make into another check box of sorts.

Intentionality doesn’t mean you have it all figured out. On the contrary, it means that as humans we know that this life can hurt us and take us down roads we were never meant to go. Therefore, as intentional people, we strive not to be “full of doubt, driven and tossed by the waves of the sea” as it says in James 1:6 but to be equipped and empowered to live out this one life we are given with purpose. Not to just go to work or school, run errands, and go to church on an endless repeated loop, but to live an adventurous life with intentionality. Let’s BE THE CHURCH and let’s BE INTENTIONAL. 


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