“Five Criteria toward Victory”

Every day, we consider options and choose plans.  Even if we lay in bed later on a Saturday, we’re looking at possibilities for the day.  Not acting toward one direction is still choosing a separate plan in another direction.  Of course, not all options are equally pleasing in God’s sight or even realistic with what He’s given us. This week consider the article below first to note the five criteria toward the end of the article.  Then consider the following discussion prompts.

  • In Matthew 22:37-40, the Lord tells us that the Law can be summarized in two commands:  love Him with our whole being, and love each other.  How is love for God and each other “suitable” to meet our true needs and address the key obstacles toward those needs?
  • The Law is summarized in the Ten Commandments in Exodus 20 and Deuteronomy 5.  How do these (mostly) negatives imply key positives that are a “complete” address of our needs and obstacles toward love for God and others?
  • 2 Peter 1 describes God’s divine power as the “feasible” way to a godly life and knowledge of Him.  Study the passage and discuss with fellow believers.
  • The Lord told us that following Him would not only be risky, it would necessarily involve great risks.  Consider the cost of following Jesus according to Matthew 10:1-42, Luke 9:23, John 15:18-25, etc.  Why is this “acceptable” risk?
  • Although there is only one way to God – following Christ by faith in Christ – we are tempted to many forms of idolatry (Isaiah 44:6-20) and even distortions of the truth faith.  Note that the first part of most of Paul’s epistles address key truths of God that are being misunderstood, neglected, or abused.  Be specific:  what makes service to Jesus by faith in Him truly “distinguishable” from idolatries and distortions of the true faith?


How the Warriors took back the crown.  And how NBA rivals can compete

“Five Criteria toward Victory”, by Chaplain Jeff Dillard (13 June 2017)

ESPN senior writer, Zach Lowe, outlines two key factors in the Warriors’ victory:  1) exceptional talent and teamwork, especially with the addition of Kevin Durant and 2) they could afford them. Warrior’s Coach, Steve “Kerr told ESPN.com in Cleveland. ‘(Durant) loves moving without the ball. He loves passing. He loves running the floor. He fit into our system perfectly. We lost some key guys to get him, but you are talking about the second-best player in the world. You don’t even think about it.’ (But the money was a key factor, too) The league’s rich new national TV deal broke the system. It triggered a one-time-only mega-spike in the (salary) cap — from $70 million last season to $94 million in this one — that provided Golden State room to sign Durant and retain most of its key players.” (http://www.espn.com/nba/story/_/id/19591472/zach-lowe-golden-state-warriors-potential-dynasty-2017-nba-finals)  Bottom line: most victories require talent, but what are you and I able to do to win?

The Cavaliers’ victory last year was about talent, too, but it’s hard to ignore a 30% increase in the Warriors’ budget.  And a brief inventory of the average person’s resources can’t compare.  We can, however, compare possible plans toward victory through five criteria to help us choose the best path.

First, is the plan suitable because it directly addresses your goal and the key obstacles?  Whatever your desired victory, some options will do this better than others.  Second, is the plan complete in its consideration of all key factors?  Just as with the other criteria, we need to involve other people who will be part of our plan.  For they will often bring up factors that we were not necessarily our focus. And while their additional concerns may seem like speed bumps to our progress, their input will be essential to a well-rounded approach.  Third, is the plan feasible with our current resources in this context?  Even the Warriors’ budget wasn’t infinite.  We have to work with the actual time, energy, money, network of willing and able people, etc. that we have.  Fourth, is the plan acceptable in its level of risk?  For even if we are willing to accept the level of risk, other members might not.  And, if those people are key to our plan, we can’t realistically move forward when they are holding back because of concerns over the risks.  And fifth, is the plan distinguishable from the other plans?  When possible, it’s best to develop at least three options.  Having only two can err toward an obvious choice over a hollow plan.  Three truly separate possibilities will encourage your group for deeper thinking.  When we consider these criteria, the path to victory will become clearer, whatever our goals are.


If you’d like to read other articles from this series on current events, you can click here.

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If you’d like to know more about who publishes the articles, videos, and other materials on tools4trenches, you can click on the picture of me and my wife.


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