One of the great axioms of life (and one of the harshest) is that our decisions determine our destination. We arrive at certain places in life based upon what we choose to do and what we chose not to do. These “places” include particular life outcomes such as the quality of our relationships, the development of character, acquiring particular skills or knowledge, attaining desired careers, achieving financial stability, intimacy with God, etc. Alternatively, other places at which we arrive include conditions where we do not attain positive relational, vocational, financial or spiritual outcomes.
Despite what we want, we eventually get what we do.
So desire is nothing without decisions that are consistent with those desires. It is our choices that matter, not intentions.
This is a great disconnect for many. It’s been said that insanity is doing the same things over and over again, yet expecting different results. If this is true (and it is) there is a lot of insanity going on in this world.
Just look at people’s reactions when they actually arrive at places they’ve chosen as opposed to places they’ve intended. They blame others or circumstances, and play the victim. They may lash out and seek to get what they want through illegitimate means. They take shortcuts, abuse people, or demand their way through a sense of entitlement. They are tempted to make excuses. They grow tired, undisciplined and get distracted with easier pursuits.
Yet the truth remains, we almost always end up being where our choices have led us.
So, this truism begs a question: “What are you willing to do in order to get what you want?”
But now we come to the question of morality. Not all things we want are of value. Not all things we want are worth the sacrifice and choices it would take to achieve them. As Howard Hendricks aptly said, “The fear is not for leaders to fail, but to succeed at doing the wrong things.” Likewise, not all means to an end are moral. In other words, you can achieve a very moral outcome in a very immoral, illegitimate way. Thus, both the object and means of achievement must be right.
Bottom line: Choose carefully what you want. Act purposefully to achieve it.
"Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus." Philippians 3:12-14