“Have a good day!”
This is a phrase that we hear often and say to others regularly. We hear it from the cashier at the grocery store and say it to our kids before we head off for work.
But have you thought about what makes your day good or bad? If you haven’t determined the criteria for what a good day is, how will you know if you’ve had one?
To answer that question for myself, I reflected on my priorities and thought about how I wanted each day to look, regardless of outside factors or what items were on my to-do list.
I narrowed my list down to four items. At the end of the day, I wanted to be able to say that my efforts were God-honoring, that I was others-focused, that opportunities were seized, and that approached my tasks with a determination to excel.
Focusing on the following four areas helps me to make better use of my time, effort and resources and to approach each day with the proper mindset.
In order to make them more memorable, I arranged an acronym. Here’s how you can make sure that you have a G.O.O.D. day.
G — God-Honoring
As stated in the Westminster Catechism, “the chief end of man is to glorify God.” If that is the very purpose of our lives, it must also be the focus of each day.
In addition to prioritizing time spent in prayer and Bible study, we honor God in our day by rejecting that which does not glorify Him. As followers of Christ, our first and most important calling is to honor the Lord our God in all that we do.
“So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”
1 Corinthians 10:31
O — Others-Focused
Even Jesus Christ came not to be served, but to serve others (Matthew 20:28). As believers, we need to reflect on Christ’s example and answer His call to be a servant of all (Mark 10:34). We should view every interaction with others as an opportunity to share the love of Christ.
It’s no wonder that a day spent it in selfish pursuits leaves you feeling drained and unfulfilled – we were meant to be a blessing to those around us!
“…with humility of mind let each of you regard one another as more important than himself; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.” Philippians 2:3-4
O — Opportunities Seized
In his book, Spiritual Leadership, J. Oswald Sanders writes “We are not responsible for our endowments or natural abilities, but we are responsible for the strategic use of time.”
Don’t waste valuable time. We should take advantage of every opportunity we have to make progress in our personal, professional, and ministry efforts. If we do not make effective use of each day we are unlikely to achieve our goals or make a lasting impact for the Kingdom of God.
We are responsible for our strategic use of every hour, and wasting 24 of them in a row is a surefire way to have a bad day. Instead, we should make the best use of the time we have been given (Ephesians 5:16).
“Minutes and hours wisely used translate into an abundant life.” J. Oswald Sanders (Tweet That)
D — Determined to Excel
Work hard! It does not matter if our task is exciting and significant or dull and unimportant. A strong work ethic reflects a love for the Lord and can serve as a powerful witness.
Poor performance and half-hearted effort will not glorify God, and it will never bring us a sense of accomplishment. If you work hard throughout the day you can rest easier knowing that you approached your responsibilities with a full effort.
“Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.” Colossians 3:23-24
We know that in this life we will still have trials (John 16:33), and unfortunately adhering to the above items won’t magically change that. However, a helpful quotation reminds us that “it does not matter what happens to us, but our reaction to what happens to us is of vital importance.”
Keeping a diligent focus on these four areas helps us to be more proactive in having good days and makes us better prepared to react properly when we have bad ones.