Potential and Goals - Two words that are pillars in both Business and in Sports. You are either maximizing your potential, or you are not. You are either hitting your goals, or you are not. There is no in between. Yes, sometimes you are improving your performance and thus increasing your potential, and yes most often you are tracking towards your goal. However, in Business, Life, and Sports it is mostly about the finish. You are judged by how you stacked up against your competition, and how well you finished. Scoreboards exist for a reason, and it is not predominately to tell you how much time remains in the quarter.
When someone is not reaching their potential or hitting their goals, we often ask - What is holding them back� You look to minimize what those things are. in the hopes of improving their performance. In 1984, Dr. Eliyaho M. Goldratt introduced the Theory of Constraints in his book titled The Goal. This theory is often referred to as TOC.
TOC exists to help an Organization continually achieve their goals. �According to TOC, every organization has - at any given point in time - at least one constraint which limits the system�s performance relative to it's goal.
If you think about it, this makes perfect sense. There is no perfectly operating organization. Hence the concept of Continuous Improvement. In Business, things can always be done �better� and with increased efficiency.
The first step in the TOC theory is what we will focus on - Identifying the Constraint. Essentially, What is holding back your performance, and limiting the maximization of your potential. In the context of our Faith, and our walk with the Lord - the Bible spoke about this many years prior to 1984. Think about a runner running in a race. Think about the CFO of an Organization. Does a runner not try and FIRST eliminate enough weight and clothing to maximize his ability to run with speed and endurance? In Business, does a CFO not FIRST try to eliminate enough overhead expenses to make the Organization more profitable? In our walk with Christ, should we not try to FIRST eliminate all that �extra stuff � (sin) that prevents us from having a more incredible and true relationship with Him?
Let us lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us. (Hebrews 12:1 ESV)
Think about this verse. Every weight, and Every Sin. Not some. Not the ones that we have a more difficult time overcoming. Not the ones that people on the outside can see. ALL OF THEM These sins all prevent us from finishing the race that was set before us. These sins prevent us from being real with God and real with others. Like a running back straining for the endzone, you need to shake those tacklers (sin) that are weighing you down, so you can reach the end.
Some of you may be saying, well I was doing so well for a while. I had my sins under control. I really don't do them as frequently. So I ask you then - Well what happened? The bible asks this same question -
You were running a good race. Who cut in on you, and kept you from obeying the truth?
That kind of persuasion does not come from the one who calls you. A little yeast works through the whole batch of dough.(Galations 5:7 NIV)
You are right - You probably were running a good race. You probably did have your sins �under control� for some time. But, we in our own strength cannot sustain that performance without Christ. Left to our own devices, we are like a man waiting to trip down a flight of stairs. Trying to shake off our sins on our own strength is like trying to catch the wind. Men - it will not happen. You cannot do it alone! You can however, do it with the help of Christ - that is a promise!
I will strengthen you, I will help you, (Isaiah 41:10 ESV)
Consider spending some time making a list of those sins that you know �so easily entangle you� and pray about them. How can you make adjustments in your life to remove them and prevent yourself from tripping over them?Some of these are such easy solutions, that you can probably Identify and eliminate them instantly. Trouble with Porn - Stop watching it. Trouble with Cheating on your taxes - File honestly. Not finding time for God - Stop watching so much SportsCenter. Lustful thoughts - Stop looking at a woman in the rearview mirror after they pass by. Angry at your neighbor - Forgive him. I mean, come on guys - we know ourselves better than anyone (other than God). We know what trips us up, and what weighs us down.
Be real with yourself - Identify those sins that you cannot seem to shrug off and get rid of them so you can finish the race strong and with endurance. Not just a lap, but the entire race. Win the race Gentleman!