Having an Amazing You in 2014
- Sarah Coleman Author
- 2014 1 Jan
New year, new resolutions. With a new calendar, most people make goals to enhance their life. Ambitions range from losing weight and giving up bad habits, to spending more time with family. Some desire to eliminate debt, while others resolve to become a volunteer.
These intentions are good, but they forget one person - you. What are you going to do for you this year? How are you going to become the best version of yourself? If you want to improve your life, the best place to start is in improving your inner man.
Give yourself a break
You will make mistakes this year. Things won't go according to plan. Let it go. Forgive yourself.
Search the Bible, the only perfect person was Jesus Christ. Everyone else had flaws, made mistakes - huge ones. The key to their success was in forgetting and forgiving the past, and pressing on to the future. (Philippians 3:13)
Jesus bore your guilt and shame on the Cross. Let go of the mistakes you made in 2013. When the woman caught in adultery was freed from condemnation, she was able to go and sin no more. (John 8:11) Addictions and bad habits often stem from an inability to forgive one's self. If you want to kick the habit, be gracious to you.
Give others a break
Yes, other people will make mistakes too. Family members, friends, even complete strangers will cause you pain. Rather than allow frustration and anger to get the better of you, be merciful. Forgive those who hurt you. Stop carrying the weight of bitterness and offence. We all need compassion.
Peter thought himself generous by forgiving seven times. In God's eyes, seven times was laughable. Jesus answered, "Not seven times, but seven times seventy." He went on to relay a parable of a man who was pardoned a huge debt himself, yet refused to exonerate a small account in others. You and I have been forgiven much, it is our duty to forgive (Matthew 18:21-34). Give grace freely in 2014.
One thing is necessary
Luke 10 tells of an occasion when Jesus visited the home of two sisters, Mary and Martha. Martha busily worked in the kitchen, while Mary sat and spent time with Jesus. When Martha complained of her sister's lack of assistance, the Master said, “Martha, dear Martha, you’re fussing far too much and getting yourself worked up over nothing. One thing only is essential, and Mary has chosen it—it’s the main course, and won’t be taken from her.” (Luke 10:41-42)
There are many things we need to do. Family, career, friends, ministry, church, all place demands on the twenty-four hours of our day. Only one thing is essential - sit at the feet of the Master. Make it your priority. He loves and longs to embrace you. When you spend time with him, everything else falls into place. Jesus will give you clarity and wisdom to complete your daily tasks, and the strength to persevere in every circumstance.
Jesus didn't go to the home of Mary and Martha for the food. He wanted to spend time with both of them. Jesus wants to spend time with you. You are his precious child. You are worthy of his love, because you are righteous through his blood. Your hard work will not make Jesus love you any more, and your failure will not make him love you any less. Martha tried to impress Jesus with her ability. Mary had his gaze simply being with him.
Earlier in the book of Luke, the Bible tells us that a certain woman anointed the feet of Jesus with perfume and tears. Jesus explained that she loved much, because she was forgiven much. Mistakes did not drive her from Jesus, instead it inspired great love. She experienced amazing grace, and could not get enough.
So what if you fail? The love of the Father is unconditional. Come closer to him, that he may reveal the depth of his love. Nothing can separate you from the love of the Father (Romans 8:38-39).
Will 2014 be your greatest year yet? Will you achieve your absolute best? The first place to start is in your heart. The outside will come right, when the inside is at its peak. Spend time in his presence, demonstrate grace to others, and yourself. You may make mistakes, when you do, draw nearer to God. The launching pad to an amazing you, and an incredible year, is in the grace of God.
Sarah Coleman is an Australian author and communicator. Her books include Single Christian Female and Make Yourself Amazing. She is passionate about the Kingdom of God. She also loves being a wife and mother to two boys. To read more of Sarah's thoughts go to sarahcoleman.com.au.
Publication date: January 14, 2014