How many of you have ever heard the phrase “The road to hell is paved with good intentions?” Another version of that says “Hell is full of good meanings, but heaven is full of good works.”
How true. If good intentions were all that were necessary to achieve everything in life you desired, there would be no problems. We would all be at our ideal weight, our kids would be the best behaved, we would never lose a game. Divorces wouldn’t happen, businesses wouldn’t fail, and we would not need plastic surgery. With good intentions, no one’s heart would ever be broken, world hunger would be no more, and world peace would be achieved.
The evil, ugly stepsister to good intentions is ‘would’ve, could’ve, should’ve.’ Why? Because people with good intentions say things like “I was going to do that…”, “That sounds like a good idea…”, “I would get to that but I have too much going on right now…”
“Good intentions” is secret code for procrastination. Procrastination is putting off the thing you know you should do or really would like to do, but you don’t do for one reason or another.
Take a look at Luke 9:59-62 and see if you can spot the pattern of procrastination and good intentions.
Jesus then turned to another and said, “Come be my disciple.” He replied, “Someday I will, Lord, but allow me first to fulfill my duty as a good son[a] and wait until my father passes away.” Jesus told him, “Don’t wait for your father’s burial. Let those who are already dead wait for death. As for you, go and proclaim everywhere that God’s kingdom has arrived.” Still another said to him, “Lord, I want to follow you too. But first let me go home and say good-bye to my entire family.” Jesus responded, “Why do you keep looking back to your past and have second thoughts about following me? If you turn back, you are not fit for God’s kingdom.”
Did you see it? They were all saying…’Someday I will, but…’
I see so many people say they’re too old to start something new. They say things like
‘It will take me ten years to accomplish that goal. I’ll be 49 yrs old before I’m done!!!’
Let me ask you…How old will you be in 10 years if you don’t try to accomplish that goal?
A retired guy started volunteering to entertain patients in assisted living homes and in hospitals. He visited the hospital and brought along his guitar. He told a few jokes and sang some songs at the patient’s bedside. As he left the bedside of one elderly gentleman, he bid farewell and said “I hope you get better real soon.”
To which the elderly patient replied “I hope you do too.”
Good intentions will only carry you so far.
Practice doesn’t make perfect, but the pursuit of perfect practice will bring excellence. I heard someone say that ‘Amateurs practice until they get it right, but professionals practice until they cannot get it wrong.’ If you keep doing things the way you’ve always done them, you will get the same results you’ve always gotten. The good news is you can reset your pattern of living. When you intentionally put yourself in the right circumstances and surround yourself with the right type of people, your life will change for the better. Things you thought were unattainable suddenly are within reach. Dreams that were far off are now close enough to touch and taste. The things you spent years saying you’d like to achieve suddenly start getting marked down as complete.
You must turn your good intentions into good actions. The only way to do that is to become intentional about your life.
Start today. Be intentional. Set one goal that you would like to accomplish today and do it. Make it specific. Make it attainable. Make it happen. You’ve got this!