by Dr. R.A. Weigel, Ed.D., CCC, CLPC, and President of CCNI
Is it time to check your vision? No… I’m not talking about an eye test. This is not about covering one eye and using the other eye to read a chart with a mix of crazy letters and symbols on the other side of the room. This is about checking your dreams for the future and evaluating how well you have been preparing to articulate that dream.
To say it succinctly, every Christian should have a vision for the future in multiple areas of their life. And a vision is not what you can do right now, not where you are right now, and not focused on your current skills, knowledge, and abilities. A vision for your future is a picture of what is possible for your life in the future with God’s help. After all, God wants you to achieve a dream that brings him glory more than you want your dream to come to fruition.
Checking your vision is about taking the time to think about what you want for your future and by answering some of the following questions, you will discover if you have a 20/20 vision or if you need some form of corrective lens, (some vision coaching), in order to see what’s possible for your future – a little better.
Good business leaders create a vision, articulate the vision, passionately own the vision, and relentlessly drive it to completion. ~ Jack Welch – past CEO of GE
How does your vision inspire you and others?
A quality vision should be outside your comfort zone. When you explain it passionately and how you’re going to grow, change, improve, and stretch in order to achieve your vision, it needs to be inspiring. If your vision is metaphorically nothing more than walking across the street, it will likely not be very inspiring to yourself and therefore not to anyone else either.
How does your vision provide a clear picture of the future?
A quality vision has to be something that others can understand. Now, it’s possible that your vision is so highly focused that someone outside your area of expertise would struggle to gain the full picture. Yet, if the picture of your vision is so fuzzy that nobody but you can understand it, then you need to put more effort into the details. Make it clear what that future looks, sounds, and feels like to you and possibly for others.
How does your vision communicate?
Similar to the clear picture, if you don’t know how to use words and/or pictures to adequately describe your vision to someone, then you’ve got a problem. Since nearly all visions require other people to help, at some point you’re going to need to find a way to effectively describe what you want. Moses is a great example of this when he argued with God about his inability to communicate the “vision” of leading God’s people out of the land of Egypt. Since Moses didn’t think he had that communication ability, Aaron did it for him.
o Exodus 4:16 (NLT) – Aaron will be your spokesman to the people. He will be your mouthpiece, and you will stand in the place of God for him, telling him what to say.
How is your vision desirable?
Your vision should appeal to others as well as you. Who are the people affected by your vision? How will it be desirable to them? Consider how your vision meets the needs and dreams of others. How much do you really desire that vision you’re thinking about? I often tell my clients, “If you’re not praying daily for your vision, then it’s not as important as you’re telling me.”
How unique is your vision?
In today’s world of technology, it’s quite easy to find information and make copies. If you decided that someone else’s vision seems to fit what you want, that’s great, but it’s also quite likely that your passion for that vision won’t be nearly as robust as the one you create. People like to follow unique visions. So, how is your vision different from the “run of the mill” vision that most people have? People followed the visions of Moses, Nehemiah, David, Paul, and of course, they followed Jesus’ unique vision too. What makes your vision unique?
How effectively does your vision bring focus to your efforts?
Your vision needs to be clear enough to provide guidance for your decision-making and the direction of your efforts. A godly vision will always have distractors, nay-sayers, and efforts by others to steer you off course. Your vision needs to be strong, clear, and detailed enough, so you’ll say “yes” to what moves you forward and “no” to the things that move you away from what you really want.
How feasible is your vision?
In order to reach your vision, you will need to set goals. Goals are the step-by-step plans and actions needed in order to reach your vision. But if you can’t set reasonable and attainable goals, then your vision may not be attainable. As a Christian, you have a distinct advantage with this because you know that everything is possible with God. Abraham had a vision, (Hebrews 11:10), and at the age of 100, Isaac was born. (Genesis 21:5) Make your vision doable.
The man who comes to a right belief about God is relieved of ten thousand temporal problems. ~ A.W. Tozer
What is the purpose behind your vison?
Purpose and vision should align. Since purpose is the “why” you do what you do or what you want to do, it should be clear that you must have a purpose that provides support for what you want in the future. As a Christian, you are called according to HIS purpose, therefore this alignment makes good sense. (Romans 8:28 (ESV) – And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.) Ensure that your purpose aligns with God’s purpose, and you’ll be in good company.
How does your vision solve a problem?
Hopefully, your vision solves a problem that is greater than you. In order to share your vision adequately, you must state the problem that your vision addresses. The problem is not your vision. The solution to the problem is your vision. Identifying and clearly stating the problem helps you and others to stay engaged in your vision. A great vision is always a solution to a problem and hopefully a problem that others can get behind because nobody accomplishes a godly vision by themselves.
How does your vision align with God’s call for your life?
God is in the visioning business. Look throughout the Bible and it’s apparent that a godly vision has repeatedly changed the course of human events. Consider Noah, Abraham, Joseph, Moses, Mary, Nehemiah, Paul, and many others. As a Christian, your vision should bring glory to God. Your vision needs to go beyond your comfort. Your vision should align with God’s interests. After all, your secular interests will always have sacred overtones and when the time comes, your secular interests won’t be compartmentalized when you’re standing before Christ and he asks, “So…what did you do in your life that had value for my kingdom?”
Dreamers dream about things being different. Visionaries envision themselves making a difference. Dreamers think about how nice it would be for something to be done. Visionaries look for an opportunity to do something. ~ Andy Stanley
I’m convinced that every Christian should take the time to work through their personal vision. As a Christian coach, you should have clarity about your own vision before you can help others with theirs. So… how was your Vision Checkup? Are you seeing the future clearly or do you need a new set of glasses or contacts? After all – Proverbs 29:18a says:
o (KJV) Where there is no vision, the people perish.
o (NASB) Where there is no vision, the people are unrestrained.
o (GWT) Without prophetic vision people run wild.
o (LSV) A people is made naked without a vision.