One day last week Kevin woke up from his nap and I carried him to the kitchen to snuggle for a bit. He's all cuddly and delicious after he wakes up and that time should not be wasted. In one of the those mom-moments that typically only live in daydreams, Micah walked over and rubbed his head, "I'm so glad I found you, Kevin. I love you; don't ever go away." Totally adorable, right? Unfortunately that lovely sentiment doesn't keep him from bopping him over the head quite frequently. As I told the story to my husband I commented, "Oh well, it's the thought that counts." But really? Do I really think that intentions matter more than actions?
It's not the thought that counts. Actions count a whole lot more. People don't know your thoughts; people see your actions. Forget what you think or what you say, what do you do? Your actions scream who you are.
I don't care if you think kind thoughts about me. But if you do kind things for me, that's a different story. That's tangible evidence of how you feel about me and it speaks about your character.
I don't really care if my husband thinks about staying faithful to our marriage. That thought is not enough. His actions are going to speak way louder than his thoughts or intentions. I want him to be faithful to our marriage, to live that out.
I don't really care if my children intend to be kind to one another. I care greatly about whether or not they are kind to one another.
Thoughts do count because they are the basis of what we do but the thoughts alone are not enough.
But to get down to the grit of life, what about me? Where do I have good intentions but no actions?
Do I have good intentions to bless my husband but I get too busy?
Do I have good intentions to teach my kids but the Netflix is so absorbing?
Do I have good intentions to read my Bible but facebook is calling my name?
Do I have good intentions to exercise but I sit on the couch instead?
If those good intentions are things I need to be doing it's time to put some actions behind them. It's time to muscle in there with real work instead of happy thoughts. Happy thoughts only get you so far. They put you on the right path but you have to actually get out of the chair and do something sometimes. That's just all there is to it.
You have to actually do the work.
1. Find your good intentions. Are they things you really need to be doing? Maybe you have had good intentions to read through "War and Peace" for years. Is that really a priority for you? Is this what God wants you to do? Answer that first. If the answer is "no," toss the idea. If the answer is "yes," then get to work.
2. Make a plan. When are you going to read your Bible or exercise? How are you going to bless your husband? What are you going to teach your kids? Get specific and develop a plan of action to follow.
3. Execute it. Do the work. Get up off the couch and do some push-ups or some yoga. (And I don't mean corpse pose, people.) Close out of Twitter and read your Bible.
Good intentions might be a good starting place but they aren't what counts. All the good intentions in the world won't get you the life you want to have lived when you are standing before Jesus. Thoughts must translate into actions.