Learning to count was a big thing for me as a child. I remember elementary recesses when we had competition to see who could count the highest. The competition was about as intense as the Olympics!
How high can you count? Dr. Benjamin Carson, speaking at the National Prayer Breakfast this year, used counting to put our national debt in perspective. He reminded us that the national debt is $16.5 trillion. If you could count one number per second (which you really can’t do because once you get to a thousand it takes you longer than a second) it would take you 507,000 years, more than a half a million years, to count to our national debt!
That is a lot of counting!
I have learned that what we count is more important than how far we can count. Let me suggest some guidelines for counting effectively.
1. Count your Blessings – Not your Burdens
It is always easy to focus on things that are wrong in life. It is tempting to count our burdens. If you begin counting them, you can get pretty discouraged. Count your blessings. When you count, your blessings will far exceed your burdens. Read Deuteronomy 6:10, 11.
2. Count your Opportunities – Not your Obstacles
Life always has a lot of obstacles in front of us. Whenever we have a great idea, there are a lot of reasons that people would suggest as to why that idea wouldn’t work. Obstacles can be overwhelming. Count your opportunities. Pursue them. Your opportunities will far exceed your obstacles. Read Genesis 27:20.
3. Count your Assets – Not your Adversities
Life will always present adversities. There are things in life that we have to deal with. The focus for life ought to be on our assets. God never leads us into a situation that He doesn’t give us the assets for everything that is necessary to accomplish that mission. We are a blessed people. We have far more assets than we deserve, and they greatly exceed our adversities. Read Psalm 103:2.
4. Count your Successes – Not your Setbacks
As long as we are alive, setbacks will come. Some people spend their lives focusing on the losses of life. But a good evaluation of life will show us a lot of successes. Some of them may be small – some may be large. If we can wake up in the morning, get out of bed, are able to see and hear, are able to walk, be able to think – we have already encountered a lot of successes in the first few minutes of the day. Successes always outnumber setbacks. Read I Samuel 18:14.
5. Count your Triumphs – Not your Troubles
There is no way that we can avoid having troubles in life. We do not live in a perfect world. Instead focus on your triumphs. They may be simple, but they will exceed your troubles. Read II Corinthians 2:14.
How far you can count is not really as important as what you count! And what you count will determine your attitude for life!