Daily D – Proverbs 21:3
The LORD is more pleased when we do what is right and just than when we offer him sacrifices. PROVERBS 21:3 (NLT)
There have been a number of interesting articles in financial publications recently about Amazon and Walmart. Their competition has led to significant speculation that Walmart will develop an online business to rival Amazon. This could possibly knock Amazon from their perch atop online sales.
There is a potential problem with this scenario. Walmart currently has a store within ten miles of virtually every person in America. If they shift their focus to a significant increase in online sales, they will begin cannibalizing their own stores. Could they succeed in a head-to-head match with Amazon? If anyone could, they could. However, if they do, they could end up harming themselves.
This kind of systems thinking is important on personal, team, and organizational levels. The system we have in place produces the results it was designed to produce. If there is a problem with the product, we need to change the system.
This is the issue of inputs and outputs. Draw a rectangle on a piece of paper. Using two-word technology, state the One Thing of your life, your team, or your business. Your One Thing is the essence of your reason for being. It is your Why. It leads to your What, How, and When. An example may prove helpful.
My One Thing is stated as Maximizing Expression. I help people experience maximum expression of their life stories. My reason for being is to help you live better than the life of your dreams. In fact, I do not want you to live the life of your dreams. I want you to live the life of God’s dreams for you. If you are wise, you want that too.
Back to you, your team, or your business. What is your One Thing? What are your two words? If you have never done this exercise, make a list of two-word possibilities. Come up with at least twenty-five options. Be sure to follow the pattern _________ing ____________.
Pick out the top ten word pairs. Narrow it to five, to two, and finally, to one. The pairs from your top ten are still helpful. Take a good look at them. When you consider them in light of your One Thing, some of them are inputs to your One Thing and some of them are outputs of your One Thing.
For example, one set of two words for me which was discarded was Navigating Leaders. Is that in input or an output? Is that something serving as a lead measure or a lag measure? Is this money I place in an investment or the earnings I receive after years of asset appreciation?
Navigating Leaders is an input to my One Thing, Maximizing Expression. I work primarily with church leaders. I help them understand their One Thing. I help them live into God’s story for them. This input statement goes to the left side of my rectangle. Similar statements of an output nature go to the right of the rectangle. Use your top ten to add four inputs and four outputs. Now you know not only your ultimate Why but how you are going to get there and what it is going to look like.
The input of this proverb is choosing the right thing the right way for the right reason in the right timing. The output is the right result. More simply, we could say, Do the right thing. Doing the right thing keeps our list of necessary apologies much shorter and easier to manage. Not having to speak the last word keeps us from having to append to it by asking forgiveness. The output is more peaceful and loving relationships.
Inputs and outputs are a routine part of our daily lives. Manage them well and life has a way of going better with fewer complications.
I will focus on the right inputs to get the right outputs.
Our Father, empower me to take the lead measures of choosing the right inputs for every decision and each action. As much as it depends on me, I want the right outputs by choosing the right inputs. Amen.
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Jonah 4:2, 3 So he complained to the Lord about it: “Didn’t I say before I left home that you would do this, Lord? That is why I ran away to Tarshish! I knew that you are a merciful and compassionate God, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. You are eager to turn back from destroying people. Just kill me now, Lord! I’d rather be dead than alive if what I predicted will not happen.”
Joel 2:12, 13 That is why the Lord says, “Turn to me now, while there is time. Give me your hearts. Come with fasting, weeping, and mourning. Don’t tear your clothing in your grief, but tear your hearts instead.” Return to the Lord your God, for he is merciful and compassionate, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. He is eager to relent and not punish.”
Hosea 14:8, 9 “O Israel, stay away from idols! I am the one who answers your prayers and cares for you. I am like a tree that is always green; all your fruit comes from me.” Let those who are wise understand these things. Let those with discernment listen carefully. The paths of the Lord are true and right, and righteous people live by walking in them. But in those paths sinners stumble and fall.”