A Resolution Against New Resolutions.

30 Dec


resolution list - CopyHave you ever felt like you have been here before?   Some many of us start each new year with a list of resolutions and goals.  We hope that by improving ourselves we will make this year better than the last.

I am extremely achievement driven.  I have had many lists through the years including Bible reading, finishing my fantasy trilogy, getting rid of that pesky flab, and never losing my patience at my boys ever again.

Some of my resolutions were more successful than others, while others are doomed to never be successful in spite of my good intentions.  Don’t get me wrong.  I like New Year resolutions, and I think that they are helpful for many people.

However, this year, I wanted to take a new perspective about the beginning of a new year.  Instead of making lists (that focus on me and will not get done), I reflected on what my soul most needed this year.  After looking at my own life, the important things of life don’t always fit into new year’s resolutions.

So this year, I have been reflecting on something that Grace and Forgiveness as I look behind, and ahead.

To whom do you need to offer grace?

For Others.

Offering grace is not easy for me, and I don’t think that I am alone.  Matthew 6 shows the importance of forgiving others when it states, “For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”

It is important that we first examine our lives and offer forgiveness to those who have hurt you – even if they don’t ask…even if they don’t deserve it…even if (You fill in the blank!).  Forgiveness is not an easy process, and requires much time and energy.  However it is possible.  I remember Jesus’ words on the cross, “Father, forgive them.  They do not know what they are doing.”  (Luke 23:34)  Even while they hurt Him, Jesus had the ability to look past the momentary pain, and offer forgiveness.

For Yourself.

Are you trapped in a cycle of beating yourself up over past decisions and failures?  Some people have no problem forgiving others, but struggle with granting themselves grace.  Satan will use past guilt and shame to render followers of Christ powerless.  Allowing yourself to extend grace to yourself is an important step for being able to move forward in life.  Please remember that forgiveness isn’t really about you.  You are not really offering grace to yourself, but allowing yourself to fully experience the grace that God gives.  Which leads us to the second question…

From whom do you need to request grace? 

From God.

The New Year is a great time to reflect on our need of God’s forgiveness and grace.  God forgives.  1 John 1:9 says “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us of our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”  It is embarrassing to ask God again to forgive for the same mistakes that I make over and over again.  To reflect on my sin is not easy, but it is healthy for me.  It humbles me, and brings me into a healthy relationship with God.

From one another.

Do you need to ask a friend or spouse for forgiveness?  Have your actions or words (or lack of actions or words) hurt someone you are close to?  Are you allowing other things in your life to affect your marriage, or your relationship with your children?  If you are like me, it doesn’t take much time before names come to my list.

My ask is that this New Year, you will take time to ask yourself two questions:  To whom do you need to offer grace?  From whom do you need to request grace? 

The New Year is a great time to reflect on God’s grace.  He already knows and will still forgive. This process of reflection and forgiveness refines our heart, humbles us, leads us to worship, and bring glory to God. A Reflection of God’s Grace can be done every day, because it is new every year, every month, every morning.

Lamentations 3:22, 23 says, “Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.  They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”

Instead of a list of things to make me better, I want something that will make my life better.  I believe that regular times of reflecting on grace and forgiveness will make my life better in countless ways.

 

One Response to “A Resolution Against New Resolutions.”

  1. Chef Leo December 30, 2013 at 19:50 #

    Like!

    Expectantly, Leonard “Chef Leo” Griego

    *You do not lead by hitting people over the head- that’s assault not*

    *leadership*

    – General Dwight D Eisenhower, Former President of the United States

    *If you don’t like change, you’re going to like irrelevance even less. *- General Eric Shinseki, Chief of Staff U.S. Army

    *No significant learning occurs without a significant relationship* – Dr. James Comer

    In Times like these it is good to know there have always been Times like these

    -Paul Harvey

    *Please consider the environment before printing this e-mail*

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