Gazelle intensity!

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As Dave Ramsey frequently mentions, you need Gazelle Intensity to successfully change poor money habits. Basically, Dave explains that in order to get out of debt, you have have to want it as if your life depends on it! He uses the following bible verse as an example…

“Free yourself, like a gazelle from the hand of the hunter, like a bird from the snare of the fowler” Proverbs 6:5

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He explains that when you see a gazelle running from a cheetah, it isn’t just casually walking away. It is running with every ounce of energy it has in order to survive. I completely agree that this kind of intensity and determination is needed to get out of debt, but I also think that it is needed in many other areas of life as well.

Getting Biblical Results

Lately, I have been studying a lot of stories in the Bible where people got results. Reading through the gospels it becomes very clear that those who were passionate to get answers got Jesus’ attention.

You can look at Blind Bartimaeus (Mark 10:46-52) who heard Jesus was passing by and began shouting for Him. People were telling him to shut up, but he just kept yelling for Jesus. Jesus stopped in his tracks because of Bartimaeus’ determination to be healed.

Or the Syrophoenician woman (Matt 15:22-28) who “immediately came and fell at His feet” to get answers. Even when not getting the initial response she probably wanted from Jesus, she wouldn’t take no for an answer. Her tenacious faith moved Jesus to act.

Or, Zaccheus (Luke 19:1-10), who couldn’t see Jesus in the crowds because he was too short. He ran ahead and climbed a tree just to have a glimpse of Jesus. This kind of obstacle-overcoming tenacity got the Lord’s attention and was greatly rewarded by getting to have dinner with the savior of the world! Do you think Jesus would have had dinner with him if he hadn’t climbed the tree?

Turning up the temperature!

See the thing is God doesn’t want us to be lukewarm – He wants us to be deliberate in our actions. “I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot; I wish that you were cold or hot.” Rev 3:15.

I try to take this into my own life by being as deliberate as possible with everything I do. If I am trying to reach a particular goal, I am going to do everything in my power to reach that goal. I know full well that my power is limited and that true success in life can’t be achieved without the hand of God. But I refuse to be the steward who buried his talent. I strive to pray as if everything depends on God and work as if everything depends on me.

We all have our lazy moments where we are anything but gazelle intense. But it is becoming more clear to me that results and answers often come to those who do everything possible to get them.


















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7 Comments
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  1. Amen. Very well said, myself I have no trouble with the intensity, I’m extremely task oriented so something like paying down debt I’m all in. This does come at a cost for me and the family where other things get neglected so I have to temper my extreme gazelle like nature a bit so as to remain married, raise my boys and function in society :-).

  2. It isn’t a lion the gazelle is running from, it’s the cheetah.

  3. Anthony Robbins made a similar point in one of his books some years back. He described it as ‘laser beam focus’, I believe, but same principle. With it, he included a question: how much could you accomplish if you fix your attention on a goal for 90 days?

    He was advocating for an intentional single-mindedness in order to accelerate progress toward a desireable goal, almost as if to drive us away from the culturally induced norm of multi-tasking, and also as a tool to break through the initial resistance that seems to be a matter of course any time you begin a new project.

  4. I agree…intensity (coupled with focus and direction) is critical for reaching our financial goals.

    With me, whether this is right or not, I am a pretty laid back guy who can be very intense for short seasons in order to achieve a specific goal, but I need to relax and regroup for longer periods of time in between.

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