My series continues on why the 7 Habits of the late Stephen Covey are Biblical. My tribute to him is here at Patheos.
Habit 2: Begin with the End in Mind
Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it. (Matt. 7:24-27 ESV)
A simple habit, Covey’s second principle encourages us to know where we’re going before we start.
We could also phrase it simply: Be intentional.
The kids’ version is equally direct: Have a Plan.
Does the Bible speak to the wisdom of having a plan before we begin?
Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple. For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish…. So therefore, any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple. (Luke 14:27-33)
Clearly Christ calls us to consider the cost of following before we begin. But it is the thought of eternity that awaits us that also fuels our journey forward as we seek a “heavenly country whose builder and make is God.” (Heb. 11:10) “For this light momentary affliction” we endure now seems nothing compared to the glory that awaits us at the end. (2 Cor. 4:17)
Even God follows a plan — though He had no beginning:
- “The counsel of the LORD stands forever, the plans of his heart to all generations.” (Psalm 33:11 ESV)
- “And the Lord said, ‘Shall I hide from Abraham what I am doing…?'” (Gen. 18:17)
- “He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love.” (Ephesians 1:4)
- “Known to God from eternity are all His works.” (Acts 15:18)
His word encourages us all to make a wise plan and stick with it:
- “The plans of the righteous are just.” (Prov. 12:5 NIV)
- “The plans of the diligent lead surely to plenty.” (Prov. 21:5)
- “Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.” (Prov. 15:22)
- “The desire of the righteous ends only in good, but the hope of the wicked only in wrath.” (Prov. 11:23)
Let’s face it, most of us live our lives without much of a plan. We really don’t know where we’re going, so we’re often disappointed when we don’t reach it — wherever it was supposed to be. We simply let life happen. Not good.
Begin with the end in mind. Biblical. An easy one. It’s living it out that get’s challenging.
Do you have a plan that you or your family follows or do you tend to wing it and hope for the best? Share what you’ve learned with a comment here to help us all grow.