One Thing – How to Be at Your Best in 2020

By: Executive Pastor Dan Zimbardi

My hope and prayer are that you and I would be at our best both at home and work in 2020. I want to share with you this idea about identifying the one thing that we need to work on this year to be at our best. 

This one thing idea came from Jim Cofield and Rich Plass from Crosspoint Ministries. They came out and visited with us a couple of years ago to train our team on the Enneagram. At one point in the session, Rich said that we should find one thing and work on it for the next two or three years. I thought to myself, “that is ridiculous.” By the end of the two-day session, I was convinced that these guys are onto something when it comes to the most profound challenges in our life. Working through these deep challenges takes time, and it’s a journey. 

They got me thinking about this “one thing” idea. 

I am certain there are more that I could have chosen, but I have six things I want you to process through. As you go through all six posts, take notes on what you think the one thing might be. You can be sure, or it can be an inkling. Either way, ask the Holy Spirit to reveal what that one thing is. 

I believe God is going to do extraordinary things in our lives and our ministries this year.

Today we will talk about number one.

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Number One: Healing.

For some of us, the one thing is deep personal healing. 

Here’s the big idea: 

The greatest barrier to your greatest self is a lack of healing from your greatest wound.

I want to talk a little bit about the word sanctification. A simple way to describe this fancy Christian word is: becoming more like Jesus. Sanctification is becoming more like Jesus, and so often we think about becoming more like Jesus in terms of virtues, being more kind, more loving, more patient, more generous, more compassionate, etc. When we think about becoming more like Jesus, we think about growing in these virtues, and that’s true. What is often missing in our thoughts and even in our teaching is:

Becoming more like Jesus is also about finding healing. 

There are parts of us that struggle in everyday life because we have not healed from a very deep wound. As we go through the process of healing, we will become more virtuous. We will become less angry and, therefore, more kind. We will become less self-centered and, therefore, more compassionate and so on. So we must go through this process of healing. For many of us, our greatest wound happened before we were ten years old. There’s a reality that, for many of us, we are currently going through a challenging season because there’s a real deep wound that happened when we were children. 

I was away with my wife, Lori, a couple of weeks ago seeing a counselor, and he asked us that first day to share our story. And at some point, he asked this pointed question:

“What’s your wound?” 

For me, I knew right away. When I was about six years old, I walked into my parent’s bedroom in Plainview, New York, out in Long Island, and I remember seeing a cardboard box on the table. My dad was putting his folded socks into this cardboard box. That memory burned in my mind symbolizes his departure from my life. My dad left us, and for the rest of his life, he was absent from mine. There was a huge ripple effect that happened when he left. It was the 1970’s. My mom was young and didn’t have an education or a trade. She stayed home to raise my brother and me. She immediately went to work to support us working three jobs to make ends meet so we would have a roof over our heads. She was and still is an incredible woman. Because she was gone most of the time, my brother and I had to figure out how to take care of ourselves. We were often left alone. I can remember my mom being gone in the mornings when I would wake up. My brother went to a different school that started earlier than mine. So I would get myself ready and walk across the street to Mr. and Mrs. Huff’s house. The Huffs were a kind older couple. To this day I don’t know if my mom had made an arrangement with the Huffs, or if they just took me in each morning out of their goodness.  They would feed me breakfast before I would walk alone through the woods to school each day. Then I would walk home alone to an empty house. I learned to be independent and self-sufficient. 

But ultimately, through this discovery process, I learned that I was dealing with abandonment. That struck me because I would never have said, “Hey, you know I deal with abandonment issues.” The counselor went on to show me ways that the abandonment from 40 years ago manifests itself in my behaviors and bad thinking today. This has set me on this journey of healing. I need to go through it so that I can improve my thinking, some of my behaviors, and how I relate to people that are closest to me. I want you to think about where you need to focus on healing from a deep wound that is causing you to stumble or struggle or to have difficulties in your everyday life and your most important relationships.

For each of the six points, I am going to give a question and an action. These will help you process through what you are going to work on in 2020.

Question: What is my deepest wound?  

If, when reading this, you knew the answer immediately and it still hurts today, or the holy spirit is speaking to you now, maybe healing is the thing that you need to pursue.

Action: Start telling your story. 

I’m not suggesting you tell your story to everyone, but say it to the right people—mature people who love you and care for you. 

Pastor Dan Zimbardi has been the Executive Pastor of Sandals Church, one of the largest and fastest-growing churches in America, for the past eight years. Dan spent twenty-two years as an entrepreneur and corporate executive and has worked with some of the most dynamic brands in the world; including Google, Nike, and Burton Snowboards. Dan’s passion is to train and develop leaders both in ministry and the marketplace.