2018 Best Practices (#1)

New Year’s resolutions are almost universally accepted and encouraged. It is also almost universally accepted that “resolutions are made to be broken.”

Instead of resolutions, should we be speaking of habits? Would it be better to think of principles that we live by that form who we are? When we deal with principles, we describe the areas that are nonnegotiable. These are the areas which will set the course of our lives for the coming year and into the future.

Recently, I discussed seven best practices for 2018. Today I want to go in depth with principle number one.

The top of my list for best practices is to “play the movie.“ This phrase is not original with me. Somewhere along the way, I received the wonderful advice of “playing the movie.“

To “play the movie” means to look at the consequences of your actions. It means to think about what you are doing and what will happen if you follow this course of action. It means watching the movie to the very end.

The Bible talks about “sin for a season.” This phrase refers to actions and the consequences that go with them. Specifically, it refers to how Moses was willing to give up the comfort of Egypt for the difficulty of the wilderness and taking the land which God had promised.

If Moses had played the movie concerning the consequences of inaction, it would have showed that the people of Israel would remain in slavery. It further would have meant no giving of the law for the people of Israel and no land of promise.

When you and I look at what would have happened if Moses had been disobedient, we begin to see the consequences of our  own disobedience.

I find playing the movie causes me to look at cause and effect. It means that I look at the long range implications of what I do.

You can immediately see that this is a great example for our children. Along with us, they also need to start looking at long range consequences.

Years ago I read that the one practice that separates successful people from unsuccessful people is the ability to look long term and to delay gratification.

When we play the movie, we will be blessed with the good things that come from good and right actions.

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