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Is there ever a situation when good intentions are actually bad?  Absolutely!  Good intentions are bad if you never act on those intentions.  You’re left running on a spinning wheel, going nowhere.  This is true in your personal life, your personal spiritual development, and your personal ministry.

The solution to this problem is simple: Don’t just have good intentions; be intentional.

This is true in so many areas of our lives.  You may have good intentions to show up at your job each day, but unless you actually show up, you won’t have a job very long.  You may have good intentions to pay your taxes, but unless you actually pay them, you’ll be hearing from the IRS.  You may have good intentions to spend time with your family, but unless you actually make the time, your family will suffer for it.

Don’t just have good intentions; be intentional.

The same is true in our practice of the personal spiritual disciplines such as Bible study, prayer, evangelism, worship, etc.  You may have good intentions to study the Bible, but unless you develop a workable plan to do so, your Bible will begin to collect dust.  You may have good intentions to pray, but unless you intentionally make time to do so each day, your prayer life will likely stagnate. You may have good intentions to share the gospel, but unless you get the proper training and devote time in your schedule for this purpose, it probably won’t happen.

Don’t just have good intentions; be intentional.

This is also true in the ministry of the church.  Pastor, you may have good intentions to make disciples in your church, but unless you develop an intentional plan to do so, your church will probably include many spiritual infants.  You may have good intentions to train leaders in your church, but unless you take intentional steps to do so, you may face a large leadership void.  You may have good intentions to lead your church to be more actively involved in missions, but unless you intentionally lead them in this direction, it probably won’t happen on its own.

Don’t just have good intentions; be intentional.

James says, “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.” (James 1:22)  Although James’ focus is specifically on the Word in this verse, the same principle applies.  After you encounter God’s Word, you should have good intentions to live it out.  However, if those good intentions don’t lead to tangible actions, James says that you are deceiving yourself.

Don’t just have good intentions; be intentional.

So, are there areas in your spiritual life or ministry where your good intentions have not led to tangible actions?  If so, what is one step that you can take today to act upon your good intention?

Remember, don’t just have good intentions; be intentional!

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