The definition of intentionality is; the fact of being deliberate or purposive.
To live with intentionality means dedicating our time and effort to certain things so that we can continue to walk deliberately into the purpose we have been called to.
With so many things telling us how we should live, what we should do and who we should be, knowing which path to follow can become confusing.
There are three things that I believe result from being intentional in our relationships with others and our relationship with God. We find our identity, our attitudes and actions are influenced, and it inspires those around us.
Being intentional identifies
We’ve all heard the saying, “if you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.” The same goes for knowing who we are. If we don’t find our identity in Christ, who is unchanging and everlasting, the voice of the world around us becomes louder.
God created us to be set apart (Jeremiah chapter 1 verse 5).
We are made in His image (Genesis chapter 1 verse 27).
We are children of the one true King (Galatians chapter 3 verse 26).
Through Christ, we have been adopted into sonship (Ephesians chapter 1 verse 5).
How do we know this? How do we find our identity in Him?
Two ways that God has given us are simply, through the Word and through prayer.
Being deliberate in reading Scripture and talking to God builds relationship and intimacy that we as humans desire. Intentionality in these things gives us confidence and security of our identity in Him.
However, this isn’t always easy. The voices that are of the world constantly surround us and sometimes, we slip up. But when we live intentionally and discover our God-given identity, it gives us something to stand for.
Being intentional influences
1 Corinthians chapter 10 verse 23 (NIV) says: ‘“I have the right to do anything,” you say – but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything,” – but not everything is constructive.’
Mike Todd, lead pastor of Transformation Church, said in reference to this Scripture; “the real power of living a mature Christian life is knowing you can, but you don’t have to.”
I think that this is an incredible way to present the idea that when we are intentionally pursuing the things that God has planned for our lives, we become so focused on them, that the desire to pursue other things fades away.
Knowing our identity in Christ, which we find through intentional living, influences the way that we live, the way that we speak and act, and the way that we show love, kindness, compassion and grace.
About a month before my 16th birthday, I injured myself at gymnastics training. What was originally expected to be a six to eight week recovery was stretched out over the next four years with a few operations in between.
Having taken away opportunities to pursue various sports competitively, this was a very frustrating experience at times. However, I believe that because of my relationship with Christ, I have had so much more patience, joy, understanding, hope and love than I would have in the natural.
Living with intention, ambition and purpose every day, influences us from the inside out and allows us to reflect qualities of Christ when things get tough.
Being intentional inspires
When Jesus came to earth as a man, many people were surprised at His humility and selflessness. Philippians chapter 2 verses 6-8 describes how Jesus took the nature of a servant, rather than taking advantage of His identity as the Son of God. Earlier on in the chapter, Paul (the author of Philippians) encourages us to have this same attitude in our relationships with others.
Jesus treated people with love that was undeserved. But because He knew His identity and His purpose, Jesus was intentional in living a life that saved.
As followers of Christ, we are called to imitate Jesus’ humility. We are also called to community. Community with others who are of the same mind and spirit in Christ allows us to encourage and support one another. Some of the best things that I have ever learned have been from stories that my friends have shared during prayer and worship nights together.
Intentionality inspires those around you to do the same. To live with purpose, because we were created on purpose.
Brittany Geoghegan is in her final year of International Studies at the University of Queensland. Brittany continues to explore her love for the people and places that God has made. While Brittany has always been a fitness enthusiast, she is excited for the opportunity to write as part of her creative endeavours.