Thoughts Are Not Enough

“Our people must learn to devote themselves to doing what is good, in order that they may provide for daily necessities and not live unproductive lives.” – Titus 3:14

Do you ever make plans to do something and somehow it just doesn’t get done?

In certain parts of the South, we have this saying: “I’m fixin’ to…”

It means we are getting ready to do something. Or at least we’re thinking about getting ready to do something.

“I’m fixin’ to make dinner.”

“I’m fixin’ to go to the grocery store.”

“I’m fixin’ to take the dog for a walk.”


You get the idea.

The problem is “fixin’ to” just might be as far as we get.

We may have a good intention of completing the task. But often we get sidetracked by other things needing our attention or we procrastinate or something we’d rather do comes along. And our “fixin’ to” doesn’t get done.

I might be intending to exercise right after the morning dishes are washed, but I don’t.

I might be planning to tackle that pile of bills when I get home, but go to bed without getting it done.

I might think I’ll read my Bible right before I go to sleep, but my eyes won’t stay open.

Oh, I’m so guilty of this!

It’s often my fixin’ to doesn’t quite make it to doin’.

This happens with things I need to accomplish for my family and our household. But even more so it happens in doing things for other people.

I can come up with many good ideas for showing kindness to another person. But somewhere between the thought in my mind and the doing with my hands and feet there’s a disconnect.

I think it would be nice to take a meal to a sick friend, but it never gets delivered.

I plan to take cookies to a new neighbor and a month later it hasn’t been done.

I tell myself to write a note of encouragement to a hurting friend and it never gets written.


There’s an epidemic in me of fixin’ to and not enough follow-through.

Good intentions won’t get things done. They never have. They never will.

And in this regard, the thought just doesn’t count.

Good intentions are a good start. But there has to be a plan to put those thoughts into action. Discipline and determination are necessary to carry out these steps for the idea to become a reality.

Think about it like making supper for your family. You start with an idea of what you want to serve them for dinner. And, if you’re like me, you have a recipe to follow. That recipe will list out everything you need to make the dish— ingredients, items needed for preparation, and step-by-step directions.

The recipe is great. But you have to follow each step in order to have a wonderful meal to serve.

The same is true of good intentions. Once we have the idea of what we want to accomplish, we also need a plan to follow and the perseverance to see it through to completion.

With such busy schedules, we need guidance in order to achieve what is important for each day. It is often difficult to fit in doing good for others when there is so much we need to do at home. But God calls us to do both.

Titus 3:14 says we should “…learn to devote [ourselves] to doing what is good, in order that [we] may provide for daily necessities and not live unproductive lives.”

In order follow this biblical wisdom, we need a plan to follow—a recipe.

Here’s one we should try:

Recipe for Doing Good

The Lord wants our good intentions to become reality—to make the thoughts count by putting them into action.

Galatians 6:9 says: Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”

If I’m going to reap a harvest, I need to get busy following this recipe for doing good.

I’m fixin’ to. How ‘bout you?

Dearest Lord, we need Your help. Our schedules are so busy, it’s hard to get everything done we need to do. Father, help us to be determined to do what is good…to be faithful in each task you set before us. Help us move beyond the thought of doing good to putting it into action. May You be glorified, O Lord, in our lives. In Jesus’ name, Amen.


Recipe card edited from “Printable Recipe Cards for Your Fall Food Gifts,” a free printable from Used by permission. (If you like crafts, decor, and entertaining, check out Lia’s website. She has lots of great ideas.)

All Scripture from New International Version of the Bible, 1984.

Photos by Sabra Penley.



Filed under Busyness, Doing Good, God's Purpose, Love

6 responses to “Thoughts Are Not Enough

  1. Kasey Hanson

    Hi Sabra,
    I’m a Georgia girl so “I am fixin’ to” is almost too close to home for me. Thank you for the encouragement to be intentional with my time this Saturday morning. I love your pictures. Your dog is just begging for us to get up and get on with it. Have a fun and productive weekend!


  2. Yep. I’m a Texas girl, so I’m fixin’ to clean my house. Something came to mind when I read this. Last year I was asked twice to write a letter of encouragement for someone attending a spiritual renewal conference. I attended that same conference two years ago, and 20 or so letters of encouragement I received from friends encouraged me.Can you believe I DIDN’T write letters for these two sisters???

    So last week when I was asked to write a note for a friend’s 50th birthday, someone I haven’t seen in 15 years, I made myself write it, drive out in the rain to the post office, and mail it!


    • Congratulations on following through! I know it is so easy to let things slip or say I’ll do it tomorrow, and it never gets done. How often this happens! Right now I have some cards to write. Better put some action to my words! From one Texas girl to another, thanks for commenting, Betsy.


  3. amcdonald21

    I love this post, Sabra! I’m a SC girl, so I can relate to the “fixin’ to” epidemic. 😉 I really like how you give your reader a recipe to tackle this problem and actually follow through with a task. So far this week I’ve tackled purchasing a Writer’s Market Guide and researching query letters, but I know I will continue to battle those “fixin’ tos” so I will keep this post in mind. Glad to meet you via Compel!


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