Thursday, April 20, 2017

Using the 4Ls, Part 13 – How the Ls Help Me LEARN (Act)

This week I look at the third of the five letters related to my Strategy and share how each of the 4Ls relate. This week is the letter A for Action. It really does not make sense to develop any kind of plan (or Strategy) if you are not going to follow it. But most all of us are guilty of not following through on something, if not many things. We develop concepts, we conceive plans, we may even incorporate others, but then we do not follow through. Thus, this part of my Strategy is a reminder that I might consider Love, Exercise, Read, and Nurture important for me, but I need to do more than talk about these aspects, I need to act on them.

Deception Is Near

James 1.22 says, “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.” In the context, he is writing about people who have ideas about righteous living, but chooses not to live by the truth of those ideas (if, indeed, their understanding is correct). I do not believe it is a stretch to include the idea of good intentions. As I age, I better appreciate the damage of having only good intentions. It is one thing to act on good intentions and have something go wrong. The outcome might not be ideal, but the effort must count for something. However, when we consider good intentions in the scope of James words, the idea relates more to “Well, I meant to...” or “I plan to...” but never following through on the intentions. James words remind us that if we are convinced our intentions are enough, we are deceived!

A part of the reality in not following through on our intentions is that we have so many thoughts on what could be done. Whether the issue relates to something physical, emotional, financial, or something else, the demands are seemingly endless. Therefore, instead of choosing something (perhaps the wrong thing), we choose to do nothing, even though our intentions were to help in some way. James speaks specifically about the lack of helping widows and orphans just a few verses later. How many times do we hear a need and think we could (or should) do something, but forget about it, and then it is “too late.” Especially when it comes to the things of God, we have deceived ourselves into thinking out good intentions were enough. I am convinced the devil is thrilled with our good intentions as long as we do not act. And that is why this word, the third word of my Strategy, serves as a reminder to me – to ACT!

Intersecting Strategy and Steps

So, if I am to ACT so as not to deceive myself, how can each Step help?

LEARN – The Learn Step has a couple of components. First, I need to know where to act. That is, what needs exist that I can assist in helping? The world is full of needs, and I am too limited in my resources to assist in all of those needs. But I serve a God who has distributed the necessary resources in a way that all needs could be met if everyone did their part. Thus, the first part of my learning is to know what part I must do. What talents, skills, passions, finances, etc. has God given me to do my part? Then once I know my part, I must Act on what I know. The Action may require me to Learn something new which is the second element. But to Learn about what I must do is not enough. If I stop at this Step, I am deceiving myself. Instead, I must...

LIVE – As I have defined Live elsewhere, this is the essence of Action. I must do what I know to do based upon what I Learn. If I do this, I am fulfilling this Step.

LOVE – Just because I act does not mean that I am blessing others or God. To truly be a blessing in my Action, I must act in love towards others and for God. Am I doing just to do or am I doing because I desire to please God? Pleasing God is impossible without faith (Hebrews 11.6), and a part of serving God in faith is to serve Him and others in love. Thus, my Action needs to be in LOVE or I am likely still deceiving myself. But, if my Action is in love, then I can truly...

LEAD – This step is the exciting part. If I act in accord with what God is directing me to do, and if I do so in love, then I have the capacity to make a tremendous difference in the lives of others. As my Action is seen and witnessed by others, then they can Learn to Live and Love and Lead others. In other words, it isn’t my learning that makes disciples (although a disciple is a learner – see the appropriate posts listed below – Matthew 4, Matthew 28 and Learn), it is my actions that do so. And my Action brings about Action in others which leads to disciples making disciples – just as God intended.


As I have mentioned in previous posts, none of the pieces of my Strategy can stand alone. Regarding the idea of Action, nothing could be more true. Love is insincere without action. Exercise is impossible without action. Reading, for me, is incomplete without action (see next week’s post). Nurture is imperfect without action. Action is the key component to ensure that my Strategy is being executed so that I can fulfill my Mission in order that I ultimately achieve my Vision. Remember, the Vision is what I wish to become – and while God must do much through me to achieve my goal, the very idea of “to become” requires change which requires – Action.

Prior Posts:
4L – Matthew 4.19 –
4L – Matthew 28.19 –
4L – Spiral –
4L – Vision –
4L – Mission –
4L – Strategy –
4L – Steps –
4L – Learn –
4L – Live –
4L – Love –
4L – Lead –
4L – BackUptheSpiral –
4L – HelpMeLEARN (Love) –
4L – HelpMeLEARN (Exercise) –

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