I’ve never enjoyed making New Year’s resolutions. It just feels like making a list of things I’m going to fail at doing. Rarely do I see them through. Mostly I try for a few weeks and then either quit trying or forget them. Or they get set aside in the tyranny of the urgent. It can be little things like not biting my fingernails, losing weight, writing those notes I’ve left undone, or choosing to compliment rather than to criticize.
It’s isn’t that I’m against setting goals. My kids will verify this as they’ve endured way too many of Mom’s family goals for years. Sorry kids! It’s more a feeling of adding something else to my already crazy life — something that’s hard and that is all up to me to conquer.
Are you like me?
I’m a classic “doer,” overachiever, full of ideas — often for other people. (Yes, my poor husband included.) It’s easy for my to-do list to become something like an idol. If I can check things off my list, I feel good about myself. If I don’t have a productive day, I’m down.
Nothing is inherently wrong with any of this. In fact goals or resolutions are good. They enable us to accomplish much that is needed. They’re crucial for a productive life, a life that focuses on serving others.
However, lately I’ve been sensing that I need to focus more on who God is and what He is doing rather than what I’m doing or not doing. In the midst of these thoughts, my son John’s sermon touched my heart. (You can find it here, dated November 24.)
He asked this question:
How do you measure your worth? By what you have achieved or by what you have received?”
This got to me. Too often, without even realizing it, I measure my worth by what I have achieved. It’s about me, me.
John goes on to explain that this self-focus leads to anxiety, which leads to fear, loss of perspective and discontent. We are always looking to the next. And we are focused on ourselves.
BUT, It’s not really about me. It’s about Him and how He sees me. And that is so much greater, so much more satisfying, indeed so wonderful. Why would I settle for less?
When I was little my dad taught me a lesson that was to help me understand this concept of how God sees me. Often, I’d curl up in his lap, and as he hugged me, he’d say,
“Susan, I love you so much.”
“Why Daddy?” I asked. It wasn’t because I was good. I was the strong-willed eldest of 4 and not so easy to raise. But my Dad always replied,
“It’s just because you are mine.” Period.
I belonged to him and that’s all that was needed.
So this year I’m turning my resolutions upside down. Instead of listing what I plan to achieve, I’m asking God to show me how to receive. To teach me to notice things that I pass by in my constant state of hurry. To listen. To become a grateful person. To ask Him to do something new within me. To become joyfully self-forgetful rather than naturally self-centered.
Three things I especially long for Him to do within me: to give me a pure heart, a praising heart and a peaceful heart.
I can’t do any of these things on my own. It’s not all up to me. God will have to do them within me. If I get out of His way, the power of the Holy Spirit will begin to accomplish this within me. It will take my whole life — but God is not in a hurry.
Our God loves to do a new thing.
He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear the Lord and put their trust in Him.” (Ps 40: 3)
Heavenly Father may you do a new thing in each of our lives this year.
Teach us how to RECEIVE.
Reveal yourself to us in new ways and enable us to see how much bigger and more powerful you are than we ever imagined.
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever.” (Ephesians 3:20-21)
Save this post on Pinterest: