Men Who Win: Succeeding in Spiritual Growth

Do you ever get tired of hearing your own excuses as to why you are not growing spiritually? I sure do. I am tired of hearing myself make excuses like "I am too busy." I am tired of hearing myself procrastinate, "I will start that next week."

If you're anything like me, my problem is not a lack of desire. Even we ordinary Christian men desire to be succeed spiritually. But men who win know that desire is not enough.

An ordinary Christian man desires to be successful at:

  • walking close to His God
  • living with his wife in an understanding way
  • raising his boys to be men
  • nurturing his girls to be women
  • providing financially for his family
  • fulfilling his job at work
  • satisfying his duties in his community
  • being a blessing in his church
  • honoring his aging parents
  • studying God's word
  • leading the lost to find the forgiveness and love of Jesus
  • sacrificially giving to the work of God
  • and on and on and on...

It is not too demanding for men to desire to succeed in all these areas. It is not difficult to desire to obey God in all that God calls us to do. But, once again, it takes more than desire to succeed spiritually. So what else do men need beside desire? I have found much guidance on this question from one simple, yet profound, proverb:

The plans of the diligent lead surely to advantage,

But everyone who is hasty comes surely to poverty.

-Proverbs 21:5

First, I see that men who succeed spiritually are men who make "plans." It is the plans of the diligent that lead to advantage. Men who win know how to turn their desires into plans. This action step is very simple yet so often neglected. It simply requires a man to write down a plan or strategy to accomplish his desires and goals. A man's calendar uncovers much about the man and what his real plans are. What's on your calendar? Are the desires above accurately reflected on your calendar? Have you written down how and when you plan to succeed?

For example, rather than merely desiring to walk close to God, make a plan to grow close to God and write it down. Write down what time each day you plan to meet with God. Write out your plan for what you are going to read and write down what specific sins you desire God.

Or for another example, rather than merely desiring to be a loving husband, write down what skills you need to acquire to grow in that role. Write down on your calendar when you will set aside time to devote yourself to connecting with your wife.

You can do this. Set aside a few minutes and write down some plans on your calendar.

You may be thinking, "wait a minute, just because I write something down doesn't make it automatically come true." You're right. Let's read our proverb again.

The plans of the diligent lead surely to advantage,

But everyone who is hasty comes surely to poverty.

-Proverbs 21:5

Do you see the second characteristic of a man who succeeds spiritually? It is diligence. The plans of the diligent lead to an advantage. All the planning in the world will not help the lazy man who does not do what he plans to do. But the man who plans AND is diligent in carrying out his plans will succeed. So be the diligent man. The hard working man. The man who doesn't give up easily. Be the man who executes his plan. Success spiritually doesn't come to the lazy, the idle, the sluggish or the lethargic. Nor does it come to us who make excuses.

No more excuses. If you want to be more of a blessing in your church ... do it. Tell your pastor that you want help in discovering your spiritual gifts so that you can put them to work for God's kingdom. Then be diligent.

No more excuses. If you want to make an eternal difference, seek out someone to train you to share the gospel of Jesus Christ, then begin to love and dialogue with non-Christians about Christ. Seek to discover if they truly understand Christianity and Jesus' offer of forgiveness. Schedule a time to pray for your lost loved ones. Pray for opportunities to tell someone how they can be forgiven. Then be diligent.

No more excuses.

Men, let me leave you with this other proverb, "Desire realized is sweet to the soul." Proverbs 13:19 Are you ready to realize your desires? Men who win know that only realized desires satisfy the soul. Procrastinate no longer. Get out your calendar today and make plans to realize your desires to grow spiritually.

That's all for now. I have some planning to do.