Well, it’s a New Year, time for resolutions and a fresh start. Right? Well, I have never been one to set or achieve resolutions, but I do have goals. After all, I am a work in progress. We all are. Unfortunately, it’s easy to be overwhelmed with all the ways that I come up short of the perfection I try to attain–as a mom, as a wife and as a child of God.
As Christians, we tend to be so focused on sin, not sinning, removing sin, etc., to the point of defeat, guilt and shame. So, sometimes I just need a reminder that my sin is already forgotten. For those of us who have accepted His gift of salvation, the sin is no longer an issue. Essentially, we get a fresh start each and every day (or hour or minute or second!) that we decide to rely on Him. Not that this means we don’t have to make an effort to eradicate sin from our lives, but we shouldn’t be obsessed about it that we forget about our relationship with God and the people He has placed in our lives–and being real with both of them. God cares more about the fruit in our lives, our sincerity and our faith, than he does about whether we are sinning and in what way. I will fail many, many … many times. God will not.
It’s like trying to be healthier physically by watching what I eat. The more I am focused on “dieting” the more I find I am focused on well, myself, and I become obsessed about junk food … And feeling guilty whenever I fail to not eat something I shouldn’t. Usually, therefore, giving in to temptation more often than not. When I am not concerned as much with not eating but instead am making healthy lifestyle choices out of habit, I am actually happier and probably eating better or just as well because I am not depriving myself. And I’m staying positive: adding positive things rather than removing the negative. In my spiritual life, I’ll aim to approach every situation with a light touch rather than focusing on it so intently that I lose focus on what really matters. When you gear up for battle, you are less likely to have self-control but you aren’t surrendering control to God either. And unless you achieve total victory in every area, which isn’t always possible, you will feel defeated and are less likely to persevere. Though you may never understand the bigger picture, take joy in victories God gives you in any area of your life. That is my goal this year … I often don’t take the time to be still long enough to see what God has done in my life because I am so focused on what I still have yet to accomplish.
Yet, I’ll never attain perfection this side of heaven. It’s the nature of our sinful flesh and the material world we live in. It’s difficult as a Christian not to appear to be a “hypocrite” because of our weaknesses but the harder we try to appear perfect, the more likely I believe we are fake. With this blog and other changes in my life, I am making the attempt to be more transparent. I believe by doing so, I can be a better witness and a better servant to those around me. It helps me to talk more openly with others and with God so that I can keep a healthy perspective on life. Sometimes I even laugh at myself for being so serious about something so insignificant.
Keep your focus on Him, so that He can guide you in your efforts to set priorities and goals for the coming year. And, remember, you can ask for a “do-over” any day. God can even use your failures to strengthen you.
“The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.” Galationas 5:6