Paying the Price
The journey of growing into our potential has some necessary, but challenging, collateral damage. It isn’t talked about nearly as much as I think it should, mostly because we like to sugar coat the process of living a big and victorious life. But the process isn’t all sugar cookies with glitter sprinkles, rainbows and sunshine. The mess we have to befriend with the process still comes with a price. It’s gritty and there is a price that must be paid. Better to accept it and be prepared to face it then to be blindsided right? Granted, we don’t know the price in detail upfront, being aware that all advancement comes at a cost helps us guard and prepare our hearts to have the grit needed to see the journey through to completion.
What are some of the costs we can expect to pay on our journey to growth?
Killing Sacred Cows- This is the most internal one of the three. Killing Sacred Cows is killing the thought patterns or behaviors that no longer serve us in the next season. It is killing what traditions we may have kept because we loved them. Not because they are in alignment with what we are focused on or moving toward. Let me give you some examples because I know this can be a hard one to accept.
Complaining- This behavior may have been acceptable up to a certain age, but any leader or innovator must leave behind a complaining attitude. This behavior focuses on the problem and not on solutions. It also leaves no room for gratitude and feeds selfish emotions which more often than not should be cut down significantly.
Entitlement- Just because you live in a prosperous nation, does not mean you automatically can be prosperous. All great victories require great work and there are no short cuts to greatness or to sustain greatness
Budgets are evil and only restrict. This is a dangerous thought pattern as budgeting isn’t actually restrictive, but more so is about being intentional and aware. This mindset can lead to behaviors such as bad money management including over spending on credit cards or missing bills etc…
There are many more examples of sacred cows, but these are essentially any limiting believe that we hold to tightly, more so than we should if we really want to live a big and abundant life.
2. Leaving Close Friends Behind- This is one of the costs I wish we didn’t have to pay. I have had many friends that have come and gone. The “breakup” is always hard, but especially so when it is because your lives are going in different directions at different paces. I have more recently had to release certain dear friends because where I’m going and how fast I’m getting there didn’t match the pace or direction of where they were going. The hardest part is the love and care I have for these friends still exists. I could have tried to shrink down the size of my life or diminish my passion to stay close to these people, but if I did I’d end up resenting them and the friendship wouldn’t last. Sometimes simply praying for the best and releasing a friend into their future is the best and only thing we can do. It hurts. It makes the journey of growth sting all the more, especially if they are a close friend. It gets lonely doing what others are unwilling to do. This is one that I personally have desired compromising on. Thank the Lord, He has made it clear to me that a true friend is someone who will not hold you back from your future, but will encourage and support your growth to your potential.
3. Criticism and Negative Opinions - It can cut so deep we take it not as criticism of our work, but who we are. This is the one that makes us question our identity most. This is where the resilience of our character is most tested. Paying the price of withstanding criticism and the negative opinions of others, even those who are closest to us, is paying the price to test our commitment to the final outcome. Nothing cuts as deep for me as this one. Overcoming the offenses that can stir up with criticism has been one of those things that doesn’t feel easier with each round, but the importance of investing my time and energy into recovery has. This more so than any other cost MUST be paid. It keeps us humble in the process. Truth be told we need to have correction in our lives. Learning how to filter criticism to take the truth and spit out the bones is vital for us to be in this process for the long haul.
There are a lot of other things that get sacrificed along the journey of growth, but these three most of all can’t be ignored. Having a strategy to address each one or gathering what works for those in your world who have success in one or all of these areas is a great way to speed up your learning curve.
We already are a month into this New Year and I pray the momentum of your growth and progress has been increasing as you’ve made peace with the mess of this process. You’re worth the effort and frustration. My prayer today is that God has brought new revelation to the struggles you’re facing to accept what ones may simply just be part of paying the price for victory. It isn’t because you’re bad, or unworthy, it is simply because the journey is not easy. It is for those humble enough to continue anyway.