You In Five Years
If given the option to know what your future holds, would you do it? If someone were to ask you the question, “what will you be like in five years,” would you want to know? If you have an imagination and maybe a detailed statistical analysis of the previous five years, you could come up with an educated guess of what you will be like in 5 years.
Bottom Line: The ways you let in become the ways you are set in.
Something To Talk About:
- Time is not on your side: Time has no patience for the weak or the slow. It doesn’t have patience, tolerance or sympathy for those who can’t keep up or don’t know how to use it without regrets. There’s never more when you need it, there are no extras, no hand outs and definitely no bonuses. Twice in Romans 13, Paul brings up the concept of time: He said that he doesn’t want us to lose track of the time. He wants us to be aware of the time. He also says the night is almost gone. He’s referring to the end of life, which, by the way, is hurtling towards you at breakneck speeds. Some of you are in the prime of life. But you are going to blink and decades are going to pass. So seize the day because time is not on your side.
- Future you is an exaggerated version of the current you: Some people have a poetic view of the future. It’s this mysterious thing like, who am I going to be when I grow up? You’re going to be exactly like you, just exaggerated. What do I mean? I mean, if you’re kind today, logically you will be even kinder in the future. If you’re generous today, you’ll be more generous. If you are disciplined today, you will be more disciplined still. Time isn’t going to change you. You’re going to be exactly like you are making choices today, just more set in those ways. Proverbs 11:27 says, “If you search for good, you will find favor; but if you search for evil, it will find you!”
- If you don’t like what you are getting, you can change what you are doing: Five years ago, as you look forward, who do you want to be? At the beginning of a new year, we often think of things we would “like” to change in our lives. Perhaps we ponder things we “need” to change. We may even consider matters that we “want” to change. The choice of language makes a difference. What do you “have to do” to change what you are getting? The short answer is to make different decisions. It’s never too late to do the right thing.
- Ongoing consistency is much more important than short-term intensity: Bruce Lee said that long-term consistency beats short-term intensity. In other words, short-term spurts of intensity doesn’t gain you much. Long-term consistency does. Take exercise: going to the gym one day a year and exercising for 8 hours to the point of complete exhaustion doesn’t net you much. But daily exercising for 30 minutes over time will accomplish a great deal. Cramming all night for a test that you take the next day will never be as beneficial than studying for the test each day for several weeks. Trying to make everything right with your spouse in one night rather than consistently doing the things that will make him or her happy. Long-term success is what you’re after. Consistency is the vehicle that will help you achieve those long-term results.
- Do you find it interesting or fun to speculate about the future?
- Is it difficult or easy to predict what you will be in 5 years? How different would you think God’s plan for you in 5 years is different than your plan for you in 5 years?
- Let go of the past, plan for the future, but live in the present: Which of those three is the most difficult in your opinion?
- Do you believe that real hope is rooted in the future? Why or why not?
- We often seek to control our future; why do we struggle with entrusting this to God?
- Marty said that time is not on our side: agree or disagree and why?
- Future you is an exaggerated version of the current you: agree or disagree and why?
- What types of things can we change to get something different than we are getting?
- Why is long-term consistency more valuable than short-term intensity? What would my life look like if I committed to simple, easy routines instead of complex ones?
- What part of this message will stay with you? Why?
Take one thing home with you:
Elisha replied, “Listen to this message from the Lord! This is what the Lord says: By this time tomorrow in the markets of Samaria, six quarts of choice flour will cost only one piece of silver,[a] and twelve quarts of barley grain will cost only one piece of silver.” – 2 Kings 7:1.
There was panic and fear throughout Israel. An army was besieging the land, so food was running out. The king blamed all the misery on Elisha and on God. But Elisha was not afraid. In fact, He was confident in God. So confident that he declared specifically what would happen in the future. This is the kind of confidence all of us need to have in God. We can find ourselves worrying about what is happening today and we worry about the future. God knows the future. We simply need to trust Him.