So, here we go again. It’s December 31, 2012 and it’s time to make some resolutions for the New Year that starts tomorrow. Here are the top ten resolutions people make every year: lose weight, drink less alcohol, stop smoking, eat healthier food, get a new job, get out of debt, save money, take a trip they’ve always wanted to take, go back to school, and make more money.
I’m already overwhelmed. Why do we put ourselves through this annual obligatory agony in the first place?
I can’t speak for you, but I know why I do it – it’s my proclamation of dissatisfaction. I’m not happy with something about myself or about my life and I determine to change it. I’ve heard the old, worn-out adage: “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results,” so I decide every year that THIS is the year when I will NOT do the same thing over and over again expecting the same results.
This year I will conquer my weaknesses!
This year I will take control over that which has been controlling me!
This year I will change!
This year I WILL be different!
Only problem is: three weeks from now when I’m sitting on the couch eating a massive bowl of popcorn and watching The Biggest Loser crying about how much weight I’ve gained, I probably won’t even remember that I set out to lose twenty pounds at the beginning of the year. Despite all my vows and promises to myself, three weeks later I’ve drowned my good intentions in a vat of butter-coated laziness and can’t figure out why I’m not losing any weight.
So I’ve been thinking a lot about resolutions and the failure I’ve endured at the hand of them over the years. This year I’m following a hunch. I have no proof for what I’m about to say, and as far as I know there’s been no study on my idea, so consider this simply an ignorant, untested opinion.
I think the problem with resolutions and why we’ll continue to fail is that they are self-focused.
Just look at some of the ones I’ve written over the years…and I quote from some of my own journals:
This year I will lose twenty pounds by Easter
This year I will run a half marathon
This year I will stop complaining
This year I will go to Spain for Semana Santa
This year I will learn to drive a stick shift car
This year I will read four books a month
This year I…
On the surface these things look like improvements, like good things. In and of themselves they are good things, positive things. I love change, growth, and improving myself, but underneath each New Year’s resolution I have written over the years is the dry rot of self-absorption.
Every resolution starts with me: “I will lose twenty pounds by Easter”
And each resolution ends with an unspoken me: “So that I will be thinner”
It’s all about me. Resolutions are about ourselves.
I’m tired of everything being about me, so this year I’m going to try an experiment. I’m not going to set the three goals I had intended to set this year. Instead, I’m going to change the focus of my resolutions and I’m going to consider something else instead…
Hebrews 12:3 says, “For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”
“Consider Him,” the verse says, “consider Jesus.”
Do I consider Jesus when making changes in my life or setting resolutions for the New Year? Or, as is often the situation with me, do I only consider me?
So, here’s my personal challenge that I am starting bright and early tomorrow morning, January 1, 2013:
For the next 30 days I’m going to “consider Jesus” instead of myself. I’m going to get up with a new verse in mind each day and pursue him as I meditate on it in the morning and as I go about my day. I’m going to ask Jesus what he wants to show me about himself, what he wants me to see in his world, and what he wants me to do because of what he’s shown me.
I’ll try to keep you up to speed on what I’m discovering about Jesus as I “consider” him the next 30 days. If you want join me in this challenge, I’ll post the day’s verse on my blog to give you a head’s up on what I’m considering for the next day. On the right hand side of the blog is a picture of Jesus. Simply click on the picture or hover your cursor over it to find out the next day’s meditation verse/passage.
If you have a passage you’d like to consider this month, just send it to me in the comments below or to my e-mail address below and we can use your verse too. Let’s discover what Jesus wants to show all of us in 2013. I can’t remember a time when I was more excited to take on a New Year’s challenge!
So, I’m starting easy. Tomorrow I’m going to be focusing on Philippians 3:10. It’s a verse that has meant so much to me over the past few years. Tomorrow I’ll go before the Lord with this verse and simply ask him to teach me what he wants me to know:
Philippians 3:10 “That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death.”
I’m anticipating a life-changing 30 days ahead…hope you join me.
Happy New Year everybody!
© Copyright, 2012 by Donna Tallman.