When you are driving down a hill, do you ever coast? Well we know intuitively that you can only coast when going downhill, in other words, you don’t coast your way to growth and improvement. So how can you protect and continue to improve the rest of your life? With three action plans, or the Three E’s: Encounter, Evaluate, and Eliminate. It’s vital to have an action plan for improvement in life otherwise we simply coast. Remember, you are a masterpiece and God is painting on the canvas of your life, your part is to give Him the palette to paint with, your Life Palette. It’s vital to have a simple action plan for improvement to make sure your Life Palette is always ready for the master to paint.
Action #1: Encounter God daily
Set aside time to spend with the one who is painting the masterpiece of your life. Have a daily encounter with Him. This involves so much more than reading a Bible verse or two and saying a quick prayer asking Him to bless your day. This needs to be a time when you utilize study, prayer, and worship to really look at the key elements of your Life Palette.
Action #2: Evaluate
Purposefully look at your values, attitudes, character, and other elements, asking God to guide you to be more like Him and live in a way which better reflects Him. Artists often use a mirror to evaluate their painting. There’s something about looking at your canvas in reverse that helps you see what’s working and what’s not. You can do the same with your Life Palette. I love the way Eugene Peterson writes David’s prayer of evaluation in Psalm 139:23-24 in The Message: “Investigate my life, O God, find out everything about me; Cross-examine and test me, get a clear picture of what I’m about; See for yourself whether I’ve done anything wrong—then guide me on the road to eternal life.” Make this your prayer as you evaluate your Life Palette during your daily encounter with God.
Action #3: Eliminate
Get rid of those things you see on your Life Palette that should no longer be there—and do it immediately. There’s never a good reason to put it off, so ask God to empower you to have the self-control to deal with these issues right away. Anything wrong that is not eliminated quickly will make its way to the canvas. Left unchecked for several days or weeks, something that shouldn’t be on your Life Palette will contaminate other areas. A value even a little off will affect your perspective and your attitude; and before you know it a major overhaul will be needed rather than a simpler, daily adjustment. In Matthew 6:11, Jesus taught His disciples to pray, “Give us today . . .” revealing the necessity of encountering, evaluating, and eliminating daily.
So begin to apply the Three E’s: Encounter, Evaluate, and Eliminate to your life today because there is no better day to start than today. Set aside time for God, look at yourself and begin to be more like Him, and finally remove the things from your Life Palette that shouldn’t be there. Begin to be more like Him and improve the rest of your life.