You will never fulfill your potential in any area of life unless you first get your relationship with Christ in order. Unless you are striving to be a true follower of Jesus, nothing else you achieve or acquire will ever satisfy that gnawing emptiness inside. You will always feel like there is something more, regardless of your level of success. It is possible to win in every other area of your life, but ultimately lose everything if you aren’t putting Jesus first and living as if He is truly Lord of your life (Mark 8:36). Too often we become preoccupied with daily activities, and God is pushed from our focus. This is not a state in which we can live if we truly love Christ above all else.
In my day-job as a Personal Excellence Coach, I help people achieve greater results across many areas of their life. The most important area to get right is the spiritual one; mess that up and the others won’t matter when it’s all said and done. While this provides me an opportunity to talk about Christ with those who don’t know follow Him, it is also an interesting conversation to have with those who profess faith in Jesus. I’m curious why people would put so much effort into achieving maximum results in the pursuits of personal development, career, and their relationships yet give so little thought to their walk with God.
If you are working harder on any area of your life than that of being a fully devoted disciple of Jesus, you are living in a confused and backwards state. If any relationship has more of your attention than the one you have with Jesus, it is doomed. Everything we do in life must start and end with Jesus. Whatever else we might accomplish should relate to building His Kingdom on earth. Putting Jesus first makes us call into question the “why” behind everything else we do.
I think it is a worthy, and even required, goal to be excellent in everything we do. Jesus certainly was, and He is our model for the way we should live. We should always give our best effort in everything we undertake (Colossians 3:23). At the same time, everything we do should reflect Christ; it should allow us to serve someone, love someone, or direct them in a tangible way to Jesus.
What has your attention has you, so what has your attention these days? Are you focused on being Christ’s disciple or on climbing the ladder of success as your culture defines it? As I write this, it is the time of year when many people are setting goals and making resolutions for the year to come. Make certain yours are centered on the person of Jesus. You promised Him undivided devotion when you surrendered your life to Him; you promised Him your best. It’s time to live out that commitment. It’s time to be excellent in everything. Begin with the way you follow and reflect Christ. Be excellent in that, and the rest will fall beautifully into place.