Resolved: Beliefs I Am Clinging to in 2015

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As New Year’s Day is just two days around the corner, I have been considering New Years Resolutions. Are there goals for or changes I should strive for in this coming year?  While considering this question a small spark of thought began to flicker in my mind- I need to be firmly resolved in my beliefs, not set new resolutions.  The little spark has grown into a steady, burning flame- a desire to reaffirm truth and my decision to hold fast to it. A need to express the beliefs that guide my life and guard it from careening off the edge when pain and suffering,  monotony and routine, fear and worry threaten to overturn me.

These are not new truths. They are simply reminders for a forgetful heart of what is real and why it matters and what that means for this year.  So for 2015 I am resolved…….

Words matter. Life itself emerged by the spoken words from God. His word continues to have power to save and heal and restore. My words matter. Proverbs says the tongue has the power of life and death. I choose to guard fiercely both the words I ingest and the words I deliver. I will not speak, write or think careless words. I will choose words that are true AND loving, knowing these give life.

Gratitude is always possible. There are no external circumstances that have the power to steal my gratitude or joy. I have watched a friend who lost her husband suddenly this year, fight and claw daily in her grief to hold on to joy and thankfulness. I have seen people in absolute poverty across the globe gives thanks. It is always a choice. It is always the best choice.

All people have value. ALL people have value. Yes, even the difficult ones. Even the ones I disagree with. Even the ones who do not see value in me. All people are worth treating with respect, compassion and love- as Christ did. I will not devalue others in the jokes I laugh at, the music I listen to, the political rants I support. I can disagree while valuing the person, however I will not use disagreement as an easy excuse to refuse to love. I will express value in others by the way I choose to engage, serve and show love to all.

Every day is important. Every day is a gift. Each birthday is a privilege. I choose to care for the life God gives me in daily choices. I choose not to worry about moments yet to come, rather to focus my energy on what is in front of me. There is great meaning to be had in each day, if I remain wise and intentional, living responsibly and carefully with my body, my choices and my time.

Relationships are essential. Community in necessary. Living a real life requires I invest in relationships more than I invest in hobbies, free time, me time, stuff. I choose to create space and give myself to commitments that grow relationships. I will not allow life and its demands to make me so busy, I do not have time for people. I choose to honor my marriage as my most significant relationship.

Perfection is an impossible standard. There was only one perfect person, and I am not Him. This is a broken world, so things will always be messy. I choose to accept Jesus’s perfection in my place and the promise of a restored world that is coming. I choose to accept myself and my best efforts and move on. The house will be messy, my mothering will be full of mistakes, my body will keep aging. Others I love will not be perfect either and that must be okay too. In all things, grace is better than fairness.

Jesus is better. There is no gift, no joy, no fulfillment greater than knowing the love of Christ. His love for me has forever changed me. And while the world tells me to find my life in pleasure, in accomplishment, in acceptance from others- He is better. My feelings of fear or pain or doubt will tempt me to trust in something other than Him, but He is bigger than my feelings. He is better because He took what I deserve, punishment for my sin and He gave me what I do not deserve, forgiveness and grace. He keeps every promise He makes, even when I break mine. He loves me in every unlovely place and turns all broken pieces of my life into something beautiful. He is better.

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