Thursday, September 19, 2013

Personal Development- What should You Do About It?

"If you don't like how things are, change it! You're not a tree."
— Jim Rohn
I like the idea of personal development and it seems to be the center of many of my FB posts these days; like the one above. 
I've never met Jim Rohn but I like what his quotes make me think and then do, but is this one accurate? Is personal development what we should be focused on or not? It does seem that many people think it is wrong, or at least a waste of time, or they would be practicing these kinds of things.
So let's talk about personal development. As the world would speak about it I believe this quote would be accurate. There are parts of this that I believe are accurate as well. Basically it is saying "Take responsibility". If you and I don't like the way things are in our lives we are the ones who need to take responsibility and go out and change those things. God made us to be responsibility-taker.
I'll touch briefly on weight loss and fitness. Who really wants to be over weight? No one. Who wants to be grossly out of shape? No one. Then why do people stay that way? I have told my weight loss story many times and the answer is almost always the same. "Great job, but I could never go without my grains and sugar". Garbage. And as a new twist to the saying, "Garbage in does not equal garbage out, it equals garbage." If you put garbage in, whether it's in the form of words or food what remains is a garbage dump. Thanks SKH.
In my illustration about weight loss the person who can really change the situation had given up before even trying to do what I proved could be done. That hurts me, not because I gain something from the people around me all being in great shape and eating right, it hurts me that they won't even try when I know they can do it if they just start and stay after it. That is NOT taking responsibility.
OK, but what about the rest of this quote, "You're not a tree"? I'm not trying to be a semantics major here, but is this accurate? In Psalm 1 the writer there is contrasting the way of the wicked and the way of the righteous. The righteous is described as a tree that is constantly watered that brings forth fruit and whatever he does prospers. The wicked, conversely, are like chaff that is blown away by the wind. 
Chaff is worthless. Trees are not. Trees provide lots of thing. Chaff provides nothing but an illustration. I'd rather be a tree that holds t-shirts by the river in the summer, that has a rope swing on a branch and has an abundance of fruit for people to enjoy.
Now Psalm 1 is talking about not associating with wicked, sinning scoffers on one side, so choose your friends and associates very wisely, and on the other side it is telling us what we are to do. Is it personal development? Well, not in the form that we are accustomed to these days. Our "personal" development is to come from Scripture. We are to delight in God's Word and meditate on it day and night. That's the way we become a tree and not chaff.
Is personal development the same as sanctification? I know that there is resistance to both and that certainly everyone is not excited to practice either one, so maybe there are siblings. 
What kinds of things are you putting in today? What have the results been? Are the things you are putting in making you more like a tree or more like chaff? Is there room for both in our lives? How do you balance and monitor what you take in and how do you make sure that it's all the best stuff and not garbage?
Just something I have been thinking about and I'd love to hear your thoughts. BTW, you do know that you can make comments to these posts?:)

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