A different look at every day issues.

Life Got You Up a Ladder?

The beginning of a new year always produces a myriad of half-hearted resolutions usually to give the illusion of determination and self-betterment. Believe me, I’ve heard the same promises made year after year—usually to lose weight, get in shape, or enact some kind of self-discipline not previously adhered to for more than two or three weeks. By February it is business (and life) as usual. The desire to be better people doesn’t come from the heart. It comes from a socially reinforced plan of action that resembles a fitness center’s advertisement for new business. Doing the right thing for the right reasons is a matter of the human heart.

Steven Covey’s book,
Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, discusses the dilemma of people who work all their lives to climb the social or corporate ladder and then find out their ladder was against the wrong building all along. His point underscores the need to maintain priorities—the right priorities—if we are to make an impact on our world. Right priorities produce effective people. Ladder climbers are after reportable statistics, not lasting results.

People change by keeping the right priorities and become successful—not by climbing a ladder, but by
learning to serve others. Anything else will leave us high up a ladder with no way to get down except to fail at the thing to which we’ve devoted so much time and energy. Realization that a lifetime had been spent up the wrong ladder always produces a sense of regret and remorse at having given one’s life doing what was expected instead of what God really designed for life to be.

Where’s your ladder? Is what you are doing motivated by our Father or by a sense of dutiful endeavor that demands all you have, who’s insatiable appetite keeps pulling you into its black hole, and produces nothing eternal? Does your life or ministry resemble a ladder climb with no end in sight? That is not what God demands of you. His plan is to lead you into a life of adventure, not push you into harm’s way or up some rickety ladder. He doesn’t want your productivity. He wants your clean heart. That’s all—just your clean heart. It’s there He can speak to you and guide the actions that come from having spent time with him.

Jim Beaird

Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me away from Your presence, And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, And uphold me by Your generous Spirit. Psalm 51:10-12


Thanks for this! I needed it today!


Well said, and so true. What I have learned is too many influencers look for young people with yet unleaned ladders who they can recruit to place said ladders against buildings of the recruiters' priorities. These may not be God's priorites for that young person. Understanding that young folks often lack the experience and perspective to have formed the best priorities, responsible leaders will exercise great caution in how they influence. One must ask am I serving the best interests of the other, or am I thinking only about the roster and results of the company?


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