I've been here in Pennsylvania for more than a week and it has been wonderful seeing and spending time with family and friends. It really was a great Christmas. One common lament of this time of year is the extra weight people put on from the overindulgence of food and drink. I don't think I escaped those extra pounds this year… Everybody I visited felt the need to fatten me up... I've come to the conclusion that my family must think there is no food in New Mexico :)
With New Year's resolutions right around the corner, this Wednesday we are praying about change. I think a lot of us tend to make the cosmetic type of resolutions - "I'm going to lose 10 pounds"… "I'm going to start working out again"… etc. But what about the heart-change type of resolutions - "I'm going to become more forgiving"… "I'm going to become more patient"… etc.
Whatever the resolution, prayer is an essential element in any decision for change - before, during, and after:
Before - "Lord, does this change fit with Your will? Is it biblical? Is there some change You wish me to make that I am not seeing or that I don't want to admit to?" Remember how Paul had asked God to remove the thorn from his side but it wasn't in God's will.
During - "Lord, help me make this change. I can't do it without You. I rely on You for everything." Read the Psalms for many examples.
After - "Thank you Lord. In the process of changing me You have taught me even more about losing myself and depending on You." Read the Psalms for many examples of this as well.
One last thought on this topic. You may be one of the many who can point to your childhood or some trauma from your past and link it to current behavior. Maybe it affects your patience, how you trust others, how easily you become angry, etc. No matter what it is, too often, we let the link to the past be the final step in the process. We've figured out why we're angry, impatient, un-trusting, and assume the stance of "well that's just who I am." Let's pray that we don't fall into this trap. Let's not use the past as an excuse when it should be a catalyst. The process of self discovery should lead to the question - "Now that I know why I am the way I am, how do I change?" To summarize this another way - the past is never an excuse for not doing God's will in the future.
Have a great week and a great fast.
4 years ago