New Year, New You?
By: Lindsay Tedder
It is the season of resolutions. New year, new you.
I have been inundated with the visions those around me have for their future. Everyone is making resolutions in hopes of keeping them and becoming a better version of themselves. I have never really been one to make a resolution. Now, I have felt the pressure to join the resolution culture, but I never really feel excited about it. I never really feel like that is what I am supposed to be doing. Don’t get me wrong. I’m all for goals and the motivation that these resolutions inspire in people. I just have never really been one to make a resolution. I never realized why until recently.
A new year’s resolution is for personal growth and personal gain. While there is nothing wrong with personal growth, I think that I have a natural inclination towards comfort. I don’t like rocking the boat. And while I know that God calls us to be boat-rockers, my insides often tremble at the thought.
I am a larger-than-life type of person. God made me loud and large and vibrant and bright. I am “a lot” by most standards. So, I think that resolutions make me feel like if I do something better, I will be better, and better must somehow equal louder, larger, brighter and more vibrant.
I feel that I draw enough attention as I am, and I don’t want to do anything that will make me more of anything and I most certainly don’t want to be uncomfortable.
The more I think about it, new year’s resolutions are for personal growth, but shouldn’t we be more focused on our spiritual growth? Is personal growth the same as spiritual growth? I’m not sure.
What I am sure of is this:
God doesn’t love you more yesterday, today, or tomorrow. He loves us the same every day.
Why do we feel like we may love ourselves more tomorrow if we do certain things “right” or “better?”
This pressure certainly doesn’t stem from our ever faithful and unchanging Father. It is societally bred. I think this is why I’ve never been a big fan of resolutions. I mean, for the most part it feels like a running joke. The gyms are full in January and everyone has stopped biting their nails, started eating better, getting more active, quitting smoking, drinking less, cussing less… all the things. While all of these resolutions are positive and would positively influence your health and overall life, they often get left by the wayside come February.
I guess what I’m after is less of a resolution and more of a positive life change and for some reason those two aren’t actually synonymous.
The Word says: Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. (James 1:17)
Our Father never changes. He is faithful. Always.
I think, to me, a resolution feels more like saying, I would love myself more if I was…
But if He loves me, as I am, why don’t I?
We know that “God is love” (1 John 4:8) and to look at ourselves with a lens other than love is just wrong.
I have lost weight… 92 pounds… praise Him… but it didn’t make me love myself more. Losing the weight gave me a freedom that I wasn’t afforded prior to losing it, but the love I had for myself did not change. I was able to do more physically, but my self-image actually became far more critical. I continued to see my flaws on a more microscopic level because there was less of me to mask them.
If every good and perfect gift is from above and God looks at us as His perfect children, we should have a LOT more love for ourselves. We should make resolutions not for the purpose of loving ourselves more upon the completion of these resolutions but from a place that says, I love myself enough to change. I want to honor my steadfast Father who designed me in His image, His perfect image. I want to show reverence for Him with the way I love myself and the way I treat this temple He has gifted me.
The key isn’t changing in order to love ourselves. The key is loving ourselves enough to make a positive change that honors our Maker.
Will you join me in the revision of the resolution mindset? Can we say that we love our Father, we love ourselves, and due to his unchanging love, we will continually strive to honor him with the decision we daily make?
Lindsay Tedder is a believer, wife, mom, bestie and writer who lives in Columbus, Ohio with her bearded, bourbon-loving husband and her too-cool-for-school toddler. She is full of raw honesty, enthusiastic authenticity, amiable compassion, humble grit, powerful passion…and outrageous laughter, double chins, real life, and frothy nectar-of-the-gods coffee…because…coffee. Raised by a hardworking single mom, she overcame such trauma as sexual abuse induced food addiction, the debilitating health issues associated with endometriosis, a decade of infertility, and recurring life themes of worthlessness. Connect with her at www.LindsayTedder.com.
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