As the New Year begins many are making lists and declaring New Year’s Resolutions. Eat healthier. Be organized. Be a better friend. Lose weight. Quit procrastinating. Try new things. Read more. Love more. Learn more. Be. More. It can overwhelm a soul thinking about it.
So this year, I’ve made a short list of resolutions that I am not going to make.
- Condemnation. Paul wrote, “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” (Romans 8:1 KJV). The heart of my past New Year’s resolutions was condemnation of who I was, what I was doing, and where I was going. Realizing that I cannot change my ADD-peppered mind, I have come to terms with my limitations. Embracing who I am, the me that my Creator “fearfully and wonderfully made,” means that I must quit condemning myself. Condemnation only makes me feel awful…it certainly does not motivate me to higher achievement. So I will not be making resolutions to be more organized, more focused, or more competent. This year I resolve to be me and let Him make up the difference.
- Comparison. As a woman, I tend to compare myself to others. Is my bum bigger than hers? Do my thighs look too big? Is my child developing like others? Am I doing enough crafts? Reading the right literature books? Cooking the right meals? This really becomes apparent when I start scrolling through my Pinterest boards. Suddenly my home is not good enough. My lesson plans not adequate. My children not smart enough. My husband not romantic. When I begin to compare what I have to others, dissatisfaction sets in and I begin to covet. God said, “Thou shalt not covet.” He in His infinite wisdom knew the heart of this woman when he gave that command. This year I resolve to embrace the gifts, talents, and dreams that He has given TO ME.
- Competition. Competition is one of those double-edged sword ideas. On one hand, competition breeds creativity and passion. On the other hand, competition breeds division and disharmony. Competition began in the garden when Cain and Abel brought their sacrifices to the Lord. When God accepted Abel’s sacrifice, Cain became angry and slew his brother. Now aside from the question as to why Cain’s offering was not acceptable, the story is an excellent picture of the evil that competition can bring. When I compete with my fellow momma for accolades in the blogosphere, I bring division and disharmony into my life. The scriptures say it best. “Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.” Philippians 2:3 (ESV). This year I resolve to work as unto the Lord, to please him and refrain from trying to be like others.
This does not mean I will not plan. If anything, I need to resolve to quit making plans without implementing them! It doesn’t mean I won’t allow myself to dream of new adventures or ideas. It doesn’t mean that I have not set goals for our homeschool year. What it means is that I will note those things that cause me to compare, condemn, or compete and flee from those things. I pray Psalms 139:23 (KJV), “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts.” Keep what is good, purge what is not.
I encourage you to reflect on these words while making your list of resolutions to keep or not to keep. May the coming year be a year of blessings and success for you and yours.