Good Bye to Getting By


Some may think that maintenance means just barely holding on or just getting by. However, it can be part of a very meaningful plan of being prepared for future success. All new vehicles have a prescribed maintenance program that is designed to ensure a lengthy, smooth running and reliable transportation machine. It is a way to be a happy car owner. God has a manual for successful living that requires a check up and fine-tuning once in a while. Some times it is standard adjustment but other times requires a complete overhaul.

My mother raised me, my five sisters, and my three brothers on these basic rules for living:

* Go to church.
* Love others.
* Work hard.
* Stay clean.
* Give generously to others of your time, talent and encouragement.

From Mama’s Rules For Livin’ , by: Dr. Mamie McCullough

Biblical Reflection
“…applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge; and in your knowledge, self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness; and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, Christian love.”   I Peter 1:5-7

Spiritual Maintenance Check-up
Rate yourself on the following qualities. Are these qualities…

Always True
Often True
Sometimes True
Seldom True
Never True

  1. Diligence – stay on task, focus on the goal, discipline my time
  2. Moral Excellence – personal integrity, do the right thing even if others will not know
  3. Knowledge – desire to know more, seek understanding, apply what I know
  4. Self-Control – weigh the consequences of my actions, not act in haste
  5. Perseverance – keep on doing what needs to be done even when I’m discouraged or not appreciated
  6. Godliness – not act by doing what comes naturally but seek to do what comes supernaturally
  7. Brotherly Kindness – do acts of encouragement for others without being asked
  8. Christian Love – turn the other cheek, go the extra mile, forgive when it is difficult, give expecting nothing in return

Select one of the above qualities that you would like to see improved in the coming year.

  1. Why is it important to you that it is improved?
  2. What practical and measurable things can you do to improve through your First Place Group?
  3. Bible Study
  4. Group Accountability
  5. Prayers and Support for Others
  6. Discipline with the ‘Live-It Plan’
  7. What would be some signs that you have improved?

Dr. Bill Heston
University Chaplain,
Howard Payne University
Brownwood, Texas

Dr. William Heston was minister of pastoral care at Houston’s First Baptist Church; clinical member of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, and a marriage therapist licensed by the state of Texas. He has also led seminars at First Place Conferences.