One of my natural tendencies is to look at the short term to assess my situation. Today was a good day of exercise, so I am doing great physically. The past two days, my wife and I haven’t connected, so my marriage is going poorly. I read my Bible the past four days, so now I am basically a Bible scholar. What I did in the past week or less is my source for the evaluation of my life.
I think there is a danger in this type of thinking for all of us.
First, it puts us on a roller coaster of emotions. This day we feel good, and the next day we feel terrible. We go up and down with every new day until we feel nauseous.
Second, it keeps us from seeing growth over the long term. Yes, we may have only read our Bible twice a week this year, but that is double what we did the year before this one. It is more than we have ever read in our life. We are moving in the right direction.
Finally, it can keep us from making the small investments needed to improve every day. A single ten-minute conversation may be the thing that keeps our marriage alive. It does not “feel” like a success, and so we downplay it in our minds. Our feelings about issues may not always be the best gauge.
My encouragement to everyone is to take a long-term view of success and improvement. Look at things monthly or every six months. Right now, we are in the middle of July. We are a little over half-way into the year. How are things going this year? I know it has been an odd year, but still, how have things changed for you in the past six months? What things have you approved, and what needs your attention? Today, or this week, is an excellent time to take an inventory of the year.
Keep doing the right things as often as possible, and see what God does with your efforts in the long term.