Over the next few weeks someone will ask if you’ve made a New Year’s resolution, I expect that, but I didn’t anticipate a friend asking, “Have you ever kept one?”
Had I? (Have you?)
Why Do We Do This to Ourselves?
You don’t have to be American to want more, different or better. Have you ever realized you’ve tired of your bad habits? I sure have. I’d love to respond graciously, without raising my voice when my family frustrates me. I long to be free from my anxious habit of picking at my cuticles that began as a very young child.
If you’re honest, there are things that frustrate and anger you with yourself and you want to change. There are people you want to forgive, destructive habits you want to conquer and successes you’d like to claim as yours.
We have relationships with family, friends, food, careers, but rarely do we stop to look at the relationship you have with ourselves. It began the day we were born but we avoid looking at ourselves with fresh eyes. There are things we like about ourselves and things we’re so tired of battling.
We can accept the fact we can’t change a spouse or co-worker but we want to believe we can change ourselves. We want to believe we can say no to the extra serving, to the next pour of a delicious drink, to snapping at the people nearest our hearts but we feel powerless, bound to endless frustration.
Attempts to open the closet door bury us in hate, jealousy, pride and fear….we don’t even know where to begin. Yet each year we make a concerted effort, a resolution. We’re hopeful this will be the year to gain our freedom, but freedom comes at a cost.
Breaking free means we must fight a civil war within ourselves and we can’t do it alone.
Dealing with Disappointment: Stop Blaming
I actually feel bad for words like resolution, hate and winner that have transitioned to the taboo word list. Like the toys on the Island of Misfits from Rudolf these words are valuable and have a proper place in our lives. But we run from things that require sacrifice, point out a failure or hold us accountable.
We avoid the word resolution, and ascribe words that feel achievable. But we’re going to disappoint ourselves again regardless of how comfortable a word makes our hearts. As the saying goes, “comfort leads to complacency”.
Where to Start
This year, resolution, intentions, goals, whatever we’ve set our heart upon, let’s get it right and start at the foot of the cross. Freedom was purchased for you and me, grace is lavished upon us daily and there is purpose to our struggle this side of heaven.
Before we commit to a gym membership or accountability to a friend let’s start with being accountable to our loving Lord and Savior. Let’s hand the reigns over and allow the gentle Shepherd to lead. Bad habits and dysfunctional behaviors will melt away over time as our hearts desire God’s ways and plans.
As you journey through 2016 let’s remember the truth: We ARE forgiven. WHEN we mess us, let’s also extend forgiveness to ourselves. Let’s purpose to live as the fully forgiven wholly loved child of God.
Are you ready for the best year of your life? God wants to do mighty things through your life and mine!
Have I Kept a Resolution?
It’s unconventional, but I have kept a couple resolutions. Does that mean daily perfection? Nope. Periods of failure take place but a couple resolutions continually draw me back and I renew my attempt. Sticking to it, circling back round, that’s what I call success.
Drop me a line won’t you? I’d love to hear where God is leading you!