What Shall We Do in This New Year?
It’s no secret that a huge percentage of people set New Year goal only to quit before the end of January. I’d love to know how many pieces of exercise equipment are purchased the first week of January and then gathering dust by February. Like it or not we are a nation of tried and failed individuals. We’re always trying to turn over a new leaf, a new life but it rarely works. Why?
I personally think its because we go about it all wrong. Our goal for weight loss is losing 20 pounds or looking good in swimwear. Our goal is to stop yelling at our kids and read our Bibles daily. Now those aren’t bad goals but honestly the motivation wears off pretty quickly!
What if instead we saw each conscious act as something that built us up or tore us down, physically, spiritually and relationally. I mean it’s hugely different to think if I eat this bag of Oreos I may not meet my weight loss goal next month or if I eat this 1. I’ll feel yucky 2. I will have let myself down 3. Its harmful to my body 4. I’ll regret it as soon as I do it. Same goes for reading my Bible. I’m pretty positive God doesn’t keep a record of how frequently I read my Bible (I could be wrong but I doubt it) but I know that when I read my Bible regularly it encourages me to be a better mom and wife. It helps me to focus on what God can do and not my own failures.
I have to watch myself though. I can easily fall into a legalistic trap…you absolutely must read your Bible before doing anything else. Yeah thats a good habit but if I think that makes me more acceptable to God, oops I’m messing with grace.
Life is confusing and its hard and we’re constantly told to better ourselves. But can we really? I mean, I could theoretically work out 3 hours a day, eat only vegan, organic food, read my Bible 3 times a day, pray 1 hour and be an absolutely miserable mom and wife.
See I can’t clean me up good enough to be perfect or loved or worth it. Instead I ask Jesus to. And yeah it’s probably won’t finish up on this earth. In fact I know it won’t. Why? Because Paul says His strength is made perfect in our weakness. Does that nean we quit trying?
Nope! In fact it should encourage us more. Like me, God has blessed me with a working body. Therefore I should try to keep it as healthy as I can. God has blessed me with the ability to read, so I should study His Word, not only for myself but so I can teach my children.
New Year, new you?
I’m pretty certain the reason we fail so much at our resolutions is because we put it all on ourselves. But quite frankly I’m not strong enough for that and probably neither are you! Good news, though, God is!
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Yes its true Jesus came to seek and save that which was lost but don’t think for a moment He doesn’t want to be involved deeply in your life. He wants your hopes, dreams and even your failures. He can help you achieve physical fitness; not so you can flaunt it but so you can honor Him with it. He can help me achieve patience; not so I can brag but so I can endure the many petty irritations that happen as a wife and mom.
Anyway I hope you’ll think about this and figure out a way you can put the Lord at the center of your goals. Ask Him to help, by not only giving you endurance, but patience, mindfulness and dedication! Happy New Year!