Over the past 12 months I strongly believe God has been actively drawing me closer to him. Below are some revelations that I’ve come across through conversations I’ve had, self-reflection and also prayer.
I was reading this great self-help book the other day and it shared an interesting perspective on time management. It stated that for people who struggle with ‘time management’, it’s never really about managing their time better. It’s about managing themselves better; it’s about self-management. I know I’ve struggled with time management in the past, or at least thought I did. But in reality, poor time management is just the result of something deeper, poor self-management, poor self-discipline. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve procrastinated and delayed doing chores or jobs around the house, only for it to come back and bite me later on. If we want to truly achieve our potentials, we must work on our self-management. We must be very cognoscente of how we are feeling and how that impacts our decision making process. We are all emotional creatures, whether we like to admit it or not. We have primal instincts driving our though patterns sub-consciously. But we must be aware of this, we must get to know ourselves better. In my case, if I I am tired or hungry, I have been known to get a little grumpy and a little less loveable (I know hard to believe! :P). At this point, I am weakened and more likely to treat others with a less than Christ-like manner. So I must manage the situation, get a snack, take a break or just be extra aware when I’m interacting with others. The same goes for when we feel lonely or down. These are natural emotions and part of the modern human condition. But we must be aware of the impact of our emotions on our actions and decisions. To some extent when we are weak, we must manage our emotions, not let them manage us if we are to truly walk in Christ’s footsteps.
As a young adult moving quickly towards 30, surrounded by pressures from engagement posts on Facebook and general social pressure to ‘settle down’ and be in a committed relationship. Despite past attempts at committed relationships, I think God wanted me to realise something first. Whether you have a husband or wife, there are also other very important committed relationships that you are already part of. In particular, the relationship you are in with God, with your family and your close friends. But for a moment, let’s think outside the box, what other committed relationships are we in and how are we fairing in these relationships? Being early February, let’s talk about our everyone’s favourite New Years resolution, weight loss. Imagine the journey of weight loss as being in a committed relationship with weight loss. At the start, the honeymoon phase, we buy new gym clothes and regularly make those 6AM classes. A few months or years later, the motivation and spark has dimmed a little in this committed relationship. We even start allowing ‘cheat meals’ and dare I say it, ‘cheat days’. Imagine being in a relationship with someone and once a week you’re allowed to go kiss someone else?! Suddenly there are other ‘journeys’/relationships that appear to be more appealing and seductive. The couch and TV are very tempting. Now let’s consider our relationship with God. In the same way, when we sin, we are cheating on a committed relationship. This perspective really helped me shift my actions, in realising my relationship with God is something that needs constant care, connection, trust, communication, intimacy, love, forgiveness etc., just like the many other committed relationships we have in our loves.
Self-management will also help us make positive decisions that in-turn, build a strong, committed relationship with God. This is not always easy, so don’t forget to ask God for clarity and strength to truly manage ourselves!
If you can’t wait to read more from Dominic, you can check out his blog here.