I have been listening to and reading some fabulous material by Tommy Newberry. I always love to know the writer of what I read. Tommy is a strong and vivacious lover of Jesus. I love all of his books and his life calling of “motivating and encouraging others to “lead their life” in obedience to Jesus and fulfill their created purpose.”
I have the same exact call on my life so it is no wonder that I love to read people who have been doing it a lot longer than me. I know that Tommy has worked with North Point Church, Andy Stanley’s church, and it is just one of many organizations he has worked with. The list is very impressive to me.
In Tommy’s CD series, “Success is NOT an Accident,” which I have been soaking in for the last month, God, through Tommy, has motivated me to continually “step up my game”…in setting spiritual goals, relationship goals, work goals, experiential goals and personal development goals. He talks about how often we set our “accomplishment goals,” the “what,” before we set our “who” goals. The “who” meaning Who do we want to become? What kind of person do we want to be?
He points out the WHO we want to become should come before the WHAT we want to achieve in the goals we’ve set for ourselves. He encourages readers to look at their life with the end in mind. Yes! See the end before you begin.
We are challenged in 2 Peter 1:5-9 to not be shortsighted. “But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins.”
As I continue to learn from Tommy, I have a clearer picture of his point. I love it. Because I desire to and have been called to encourage others in their walk with Christ and encourage all of us to lead a “life of significance,” I want to give you something I have learned from him.
Decide Who you want to be. Do you want to be a person of integrity? kindness? compassion? generous? influential? respected? loved? gentleness? To have the evidence of the fruit as described in Galatians 5:22? “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness.” If so, your What goals have to be goals that won’t conflict with Who you want to become. Very simply stated…decide Who you want to be before you decide What goals you want to achieve. Picking the What goals before the Who can totally circumvent the Who you want to become.
I love this…often times…I now recognize we get it backwards. We pick things to do…jobs, volunteer positions, schools, sports, etc…that are not going to help us in becoming the Who we desire to be!
Recently I heard this verbalized in our daughter’s conversation about her college choice and golf. She was talking with a great family friend, George Bryan, who is the golf coach at CIU (a Christian university). She said to him, “If I had to do it all over, I would have probably picked Liberty University for golf and college…a Christian college for sure!” To Collins’ credit, she did pick a Christian coach to play for…but she looks back and realizes that, from classes to many other variables, a Christian university would have been a better choice based on her Who. For the record she loved Georgia and the friends she made and will always be a Dawg…but after maturing and listening to the tapes…Hindsight can be 20/20.
Collins now looks back and sees she put the “What” in front of the “Who!” in her college decision and in golf. I am so grateful to God that at 21 she is seeing this. She also is listening and soaking in “Success is not an Accident”. She, too, is seeing that to have the real….God created success in life…you have to determine the Who first. Who do you want to be? Then make all other decisions based on the Who, including all the What goals.
Tommy lectures on how making the decision on the “Who”…takes time, much thought, much prayer, much seeking God. Putting down in writing a detailed description of WHO you want to become…the person! After doing so, read it every day. Check constantly on the Who you are committed to be so that you don’t drift in your “What” decisions which could take you away…from the who! Who always precedes What! I can’t write about all that Tommy teaches in his books but it is definitely anointed and inspired material.
I encourage you today with this simple thought: have you got the What before the Who? If so, you may want to take the time to reflect, sort out and pray about the Who. Are the What’s aiding or destroying the Who that you want to be? God’s design is for us to live an abundant, joyful and prosperous life and to successfully achieve this…it all starts with the WHO!