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Make the plan - then work the plan

Are you a planner? Do you make lists, check them twice, and then adjust the lists to make even more sense? If so, you just could be a 'planner' of sorts. There are lots of things we plan - where we will vacation, what we will have for our dinner this week, what times to pick people up each day, or even what order to do our many loads of laundry in as we sort through the piles. Planning is a good thing, especially when we are planning in ways that will make us more productive, efficient, or help us save needed money. Planning is just a way to help us order our steps toward some goal. If we see the value in planning, we might just begin to incorporate a little planning into how it is we respond to others, what we will do with our time when we are together with them, and where we will invest into their lives.

Don’t those who work evil stray from the truth? Those who plan goodness experience unfailing love and faithfulness. (Proverbs 14:22 VOICE)

Goodness is actually something we must 'plan for' in our lives. We aren't always 'goodness-driven' individuals because we have our own niggling needs that seem to interfere on occasion, our fears that keep us from reaching out to meet a need when we see it, or our 'created stories' that tell us our contribution won't really matter. We must plan for goodness - that means we must take active steps to not only allow goodness to be poured into our lives, but to let it out for others to enjoy! Goodness begins with biblically-aligned morals. That means I don't choose my own way to live - I choose God's and allow him to align my values with his. Too many times we try to get this the other way around - we try to get his values to align with ours! Goodness has a beginning point and it is in right relationship with Jesus.

Did you ever stop to think about your responses in certain situations? I do this all the time - looking at the ways I have responded to life events, even the little ones, helps me understand how well my character is reflecting the character of Christ. It has been said that character is a set of traits or qualities that define how it is we will respond to life as it comes our way. I am not always that resilient in my character - there are times when I get tired, grumpy, down, and a little bit too emotionally focused. When I allow my fatigue to influence my responses, my character probably reflects things such as being snippy in my responses, having a lack of interest in what others are doing or saying, or even getting a little too withdrawn. When I allow my emotions to direct my behavior, my response to life is usually not all that reliable.

Goodness is indeed planned - in times alone with God, in those moments when scripture seems to cement something he has been trying to tell you, or even in those times when someone just hits the nail on the head by pointing out something you have been overlooking for way too long. We need to make a plan, then we work the plan. No plan is of value unless it is worked. We can plan till the cows come home, but if we never put the plan into practice, it was just good words without any action! How will you plan for goodness in your life today? For me, it might resemble an action like me taking my time with mom when I'd rather she'd hurry up with a task. This is but one example, but you can see that the action is relationship-based. First in my relationship with Jesus - then in one of the relationships I have on this earth that I value very much.

You can begin planning for goodness in your life, as well. Today is a new day - a new chance to change the ways you will respond to life as it happens. What will you plan today? Just askin!

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