Better Than New Year's Resolutions
Maybe it’s always this way, or perhaps I’m just more alert this year, but everywhere I look, I see stress. Anxiety. Depression. Grieving. Hard stuff. And coming straight out of Christmas with a slew of unmet expectations, many feel depleted and defeated.
There’s a lot of pressure over the holidays, isn’t there? Not just on Christmas day, but the entire month of December and bleeding into January. Actually, the pressure increases exponentially in the new year, when, after coming to terms with all our faults, all our failed efforts to do better or love more or spend less or whatever–we determine to try again. To make a plan this time, and maybe even to write that on a slip of paper, turning our goals into New Year’s resolutions.
Because then we’re sure to keep them, right? ha!
Am I the only one that finds this cycle exhausting and self-defeating?
What if we did away with resolutions all together and instead, determined to walk just a little closer to Jesus each day. What if, instead of drawing this line in the sand, stating that, starting January 2nd, everything will be different, we focused on moving forward? Taking small but steady steps?
Because, honestly, that first step is the hardest. In fact, it’s hard enough, without adding a bunch of expectation to it.
But once we take that first step, every step after becomes easier.
So what’s the first step? For me, meditating on and praying Scripture, because I’m convinced, the more I think like Jesus, the more I act like Jesus. Perhaps you’ve heard it this way: Right thinking equals right actions.
Meditating on Scripture is more than reading a passage in the morning then going about one’s day. It means pausing to really take God’s Words in, praying that He’ll help us live it, and repeating these steps throughout the day.
Eventually, God’s Words will become a part of us–internalized, and He’ll use them to speak to us, to guide and correct us, and before we know it, our behaviors have changed and we’ve become a bit more like our Savior.
This year, this is my plan, and I’m not waiting until January first to begin. Starting today, I’m determined to lean in a bit closer to Christ, to carve out consistent time throughout the day to connect with Him, and to allow His Words to penetrate deep, changing me from the inside out. (Romans 12:1-2) I invite you to join me.