You may actually know someone who has begun a sentence using the above words. The words that this preacher has heard used most often to complete this sentence are “exercising” and “eating right.” It appears that most of us have a sense of what it will take to improve our health.

The key to accomplishing the desired improvement is truly given in this statement. It is the word “start.” We may be playing mind games with ourselves when we utter these words, because if we never start, we will not have to continue the process. Perhaps we feel that we can handle the guilt better than the discipline.

What about spiritually? Have we not also heard someone (ourselves) say, “I’ve got to start studying my Bible regularly?” We believe what Jesus said about those who “hunger and thirst after righteousness” (Matthew 5:6), but we are still waiting to start.

What about the one who says, “I’ve got to start visiting like I should”? We believe what James wrote about “pure religion” consisting of visiting the “fatherless and the widows in their affliction” (James 1:27), but we just cannot seem to get started.

In reality, when we make these statements, we are taking the first step; i.e., admitting the personal need/responsibility. Now all we need to do is specify. Instead of repeating the “I’ve got to” part, say, “I will start (an activity) today at (a time).” Next, set a reminder and then START! Change for the better will become reality when we do. Paul exhorted, “For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation” (2 Corinthians 6:2). Let’s get started today.

J. Brooks Boyd Jr.
Livingston, TN

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