Writing a blog can be a dangerous undertaking! No, there have not been any threats on my life or people coming after me because of something I have said. The danger is not actually a physical one, but a spiritual one. Instead of finding myself in peril, the problem is one of theory versus application.
Lots To Read
Let me explain. When I started this blog, I decided I was not going to write about theories or ideas. I had read a lot on the subject of Christian business by authors that I am sure were very well educated. The problem I saw was that some had never actually been in business themselves.
While I understood their theories and ideas (even agreed with most of them), I had a problem knowing they had never actually had to face the challenge of implementing those ideas. They had not faced the “whirlwind” of business that keeps many of us from being as effective as we want to be.
Application, Not Theory
As a result, I wanted to write from the perspective of one who was actually IN the business world and trying to implement the ideas I promoted. I wanted to write about application, not theory.
So that is what I did. I committed to only writing about processes we were actually trying in our business. In fact, I found the writing of the blog posts actually served as a form of accountability, keeping me focused on the application of ideas that otherwise may have faded over time.
Lapse In Effectiveness
Fast forward a few years and I have started to look around again. What I have found is not exciting to me. What I have realized is that some of the very processes and ideas that were once carried out regularly are no longer being performed. Either that or they are not as effective as they have been in the past.
If it was only about me, that may not be such a big deal.
People Depending On Application
However, I have come to find that there are many people depending on me to focus on the application of these ideas. Our entire employee base (whether they realize it or not) is relying on me to ensure the application of these processes. Their family members are depending on this. Our customers are also expecting this.
You, as a reader of this blog, trust that we are actually doing what I say we are doing. If I was promoting this blog as one of theory (not application), then you likely would not care as much. However, since I am saying the opposite, you should expect that the application of these ideas is in place.
So, the danger I described before, is that over time it is easy to get lost in the clouds when writing a blog. It is easy to get caught up in the coolest new idea that comes along rather than ensuring the application of that idea first.
I want to give an example from Scripture that illustrates this. While the analogy is not an exact fit, I think you will get the idea.
After He had said this, He was taken up as they were watching, and a cloud took Him out of their sight. While He was going, they were gazing into heaven, and suddenly two men in white clothes stood by them.
They said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking up into heaven? This Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come in the same way that you have seen Him going into heaven.”
Disciples In The Clouds
In this passage, Jesus has just given instructions to the disciples and has ascended into the clouds, going to heaven. The disciples have things to do and instructions to follow, but what do they do? They stand there gazing into the empty sky.
What they were thinking about, no one really knows. They were probably reflecting on how cool it was to see Jesus ascend. They likely were thinking about what this ascension meant to their future. It is even possible they were wishing they could follow Him right then and skip all they had in front of them to do.
Whatever the case, the two men in white clothes came along and interrupted their thoughts. Effectively, these two men told them to get their heads out of the clouds and get back to the tasks they had at hand!
I laugh every time I read this passage! I can imagine being in the disciples’ shoes and wanting to stand there gazing. I can imagine wishing to be following Jesus right then. In fact, to be honest, there are days I DO feel that way!
We Have Work To Do!
The problem is that we have work to do. Theories are good and we certainly can use new ideas in order to increase our ministry effectiveness. At the same time, the work must continue! We cannot get lost in the theory and forget the application!
It is not enough to say we added a step to our sales process at one time. We must make sure that step remains a part of the sales process for as long as it is effective. Allowing it to fade out while we pursue new ideas…this is a problem!
In the same way, applying something once that we have learned in our study of the Bible is not enough. We must maintain that application over time. It is not enough to say we studied or fasted once. We must keep up these disciplines.
I encourage you to do a self-assessment. Where do you rate yourself on a scale of 1-10 when it comes to application? Are you guilty of too much theory and not enough work? Have you allowed your gaze to shift to the clouds?
As I mentioned, I have noticed some cloud-gazing myself lately. As a result, I am committing to an increased focus on application. I hope you will do the same!
Where have you allowed application to lapse?
Are you ready to jump back in and get to work?
Where are you going to start?
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