One of the wisest pieces of advice I’ve ever heard was said recently by a pastor at my church, when he was giving a talk for our community of 20-somethings. He was addressing when you feel like you’re running on “empty” most of the time, and the need to intentionally spend your time on the things that refuel you.
The part that really stuck with me was this:
It’s not so much about what you’re doing, but about who you’re becoming.
This essentially implies two things:
1. Only by fueling up with God, and spending your time on the things He’s created you for, will you grow into the person He made you to be and reflect His love.
2. You ought to spend your time on things that matter and are consistent with who you hope to become.
It may seem super obvious to you, but for me, it really changed the way I think. Yeah, I know it’s not productive or beneficial to veg out in front of the television for hours – but that knowledge won’t necessarily stop me. However, when I evaluate that time through the lens of: “Who am I becoming?” – I realize I would rather be the woman being enriched and refined by seeking Jesus through prayer time or creative projects, instead of excessively zoning out on mindless entertainment.
This same wisdom can be applied in all areas of life, not just the use of our time. How about in the way we treat others? When I’m tempted to make a sharp-tongued remark, I try to catch myself and again ask, “Is this really who I want to become?” (though the person I don’t want to be wins out too often). The person I want to be is kind, loving and encouraging, so I should make a habit of speaking things that reflect that instead.
What about finances? Do I want to give freely in a way that will impact God’s kingdom, rather than on fleeting pleasures? There are so many wonderful ways to do this, but one way is to consider child sponsorship. Doing this allows you to build a meaningful and encouraging relationship with a child across the world, and also to invest in Food for the Hungry‘s programs that help develop sustainable communities.
Further, it gives a child a chance to think about the person she wants to become. It may give her the opportunity for the first time to enroll in school, and to spend her time becoming an educated, confident young woman who hopes to be a doctor or a community leader.
I encourage you to start considering who you see yourself becoming, and how your thoughts, time, resources, relationships and words might shape you into who you want to be.