Everybody’s blogging about their reflections on 2008, their new year’s resolutions, or how they’re not going to make any new year’s resolutions. Me? I gave up quitting. I’m going to a party in a few hours, I need to finish my laundry that I somehow managed to get sidetracked from (shocking, I know), and I need to touch up my roots so I don’t show up at the party looking like I’m wearing a festive skunk hat on my head. (I’ll give you a minute to get that joke…….)
The point is, I don’t have TIME to write a new post. So I’m gonna punt. The following is a post that I wrote way back in June. Since I had a loyal following of approximately 5 readers back then (including my husband and myself), I figured it would be new to most of you. It’s my pseudo-new year’s resolution post. Happy New Year, Don’t drink and drive, and Gee, your hair smells terrific! See you on the other side!
But here’s the thing. I strongly believe that when we say “I’ll never do that”, we often condemn ourselves to do exactly what we say we’ll never do. I think the Apostle Paul has a pretty good angle on this one in Romans 7:15-20:
I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate, I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no the evil I do not want to do — this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.
Paul’s pointing out a few things here:
- Knowledge is not the answer. Before he understood what the law demanded, he was okay. Once he understood this concept, he knew he was doomed.
- Self-determination or willpower doesn’t succeed. He was doing things that even he found unattractive.
- Becoming a Christian doesn’t alleviate our struggles with sin and temptation.
- Being born again requires a moment of faith, but abiding in Christ while allowing Him to abide in us is a lifelong process.
- We should never underestimate the power of sin, or use or sinful nature as an excuse. We are responsible for our actions and we need to remember that the enemy has already been defeated. Jesus conquered sin once and for all.
- God’s provision for victory over sin is the Holy Spirit that lives in us and gives us power. When we fall, He lovingly reaches out to help us up.
I learned a long time ago to never say never because you just don’t know what plans God has for you. If you had said to me five years ago that I would leave the church family that I love to start another church, I would have been very tempted to say “I’d never do that.” Again, God has the game plan, I don’t. Here’s a little list of things I said I’d never do before I completely grasped this concept:
- I’ll never date anyone I work with. (Dated and later married someone who, while wasn’t on the same payroll, was hired to work with my company.)
- I’ll never date an engineer. (See Number 1.)
- I’ll never use the television as a babysitter. (Yeah, right. We’re all child experts BEFORE we have kids.)
- I’ll never spank my kids when I’m angry. (If you wait until you calm down, sometimes you confuse your kids because they forget why they’re being punished. Okay, maybe I’m justifying my bad behavior just a bit.)
- I’ll never clean my kid’s face with a napkin that I’ve spit on to get wet. (This grossed me out when my mom did it, but sometimes that’s all you have.)
- I’ll never be a stay at home mom. (Before I had kids, I couldn’t separate my self worth from what I did for a living. Kids give you a whole new perspective on value.)
- I’ll never lose touch with my childhood buddies. (Sadly, our lives went in completely different directions. I still cherish those memories, but I don’t keep in touch.)
- I’ll never forgive (insert name here) for (insert injustice here). (The true gift of forgiveness is that it releases your burden, not theirs. Jesus knows what He’s talking about.)
- I’ll never drink tequila again.
- I’ll never, EVER drink tequila again. (No really, this time I mean it.)
So with a new understanding of this concept, I’ve updated my top ten list:
- I’ll never have rock hard abs and buns of steel.
- I’ll never have the perfect “wash and go” haircut.
- I’ll never have a pool and spa with a great covered patio in the back yard. (Ron, honey — do you still read my blog?)
- I’ll never work a healthy diet and exercise routine into my busy life.
- I’ll never get my house spotlessly clean, professionally organized and immaculately decorated.
- I’ll never go to Australia and/or New Zealand.
- I’ll never hear “Wow, I would have guessed you were closer to 30 than 40!”
- I’ll never let my 6-year old eat Sun chips out of a bowl for breakfast while sitting on the leather sofa watching “Wow! Wow! Wubzy!” (Okay, nix that –it just happened. SEE WHAT I MEAN?! It’s almost scary when you think about it!)
- I’ll never truly die to my selfish desires and live a life completely sold out to Jesus.
- I’ll never be able to use this blog as an avenue to reach out to those who have never accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. I’ll never be able to communicate that God wants them back, that nothing is too dark, too shameful, too horrible that it cannot be wiped clean by the blood spilled at Calvary. I’ll never be able to convey the insanely beautiful, gut wrenching, life shattering peace that is the Gospel of Christ.
So. There’s my top ten list. Do you have one?