We’ve all heard the saying “A New Year a new me!” It is usually said alongside several resolutions that we vow to keep for an entire year… but in reality, we break within a month (if not a week!). This has been my perspective in the past…
This year is different. I don’t want to be a new me. I want to BUILD on the current me! I don’t want to erase everything that I am (even my weaknesses). I don’t want to pretend that I can completely upend and change my life and my habits overnight. That is NOT realistic.
And that’s not what Scripture calls us to.
Yes, it’s true that when we enter into a relationship with the Creator of the universe and accept Jesus Christ as our one and only savior we are transformed. Yes, it’s true that God can work amazing changes in our lives, sometimes even in the blink of an eye!
But these crazy, all-encompassing transformations don’t happen in life every single day.
Yes, it’s true that the Holy Spirit is consistently at work in believer’s hearts, growing the fruits of the Spirit. Yes, God is consistently at work transforming us. But this transformative sanctification usually doesn’t happen in the blink of an eye and God is certainly not controlled by the date on our calendar.
Usually the transformation God works is a slow, day-by-day process. It is a journey. Not to remake ourselves. Not to guilt ourselves into unsustainable change. Not to exhaust ourselves running the ever-lengthening race of good-enough.
We cannot do it ourselves. I know I can’t… Even though again and again I try. Alone, I cannot do it.
In Christ we ARE reborn, transformed, remade, JUSTIFIED. Our salvation is secure… but our sanctification (becoming more like Christ in our daily lives) is ever developing through the Holy Spirit’s work.
So this year, instead of leaning on my own determination, ideas, strength… I choose to pray, learn, grow, BUILD. I choose to give my striving over to God, to rest in His strength and His plan, and to BUILD upon the foundation of Christ and the base of where I am now. I choose to develop the skills and gifts God has already given me, through HIS strength, not my own.
I choose to be content in my weakness. I choose to celebrate SMALL, tiny, minuscule victories! I choose to seek to improve each day in God’s strength. I choose to show myself grace, instead of wallowing in guilt. I choose this year to BUILD, maybe slowly, maybe with 2 steps forward and 3 steps back but one step at a time, with Christ as the cornerstone!
I don’t want to reject the cornerstone of Christ to rely on my own stubbornness… I want to BUILD upon it!
Practically for me, this is going to take a few forms:
- Building my relationship with Christ (furthering my sporadic devotions, increased mindfulness, and Scripture meditation).
- Building healthy habits (developing my cleaning routine, working to drink more water, and having healthy eating habits).
- Building my exercise routine (growing in my walking endurance, and yoga practice — I have only gotten on my mat 2 times in the last 6 months… yikes!).
- Building my activities (developing my art, enjoying racquetball, trying to snowshoe).
- Building my emotional and relational health (better my communication, growing in patience, learning self-control in regards to emotions, learning how best to love my hubby).
I fully expect to fall behind. I fully expect there to be days when I fail. I fully expect to struggle each and every day. There will be darkness in my failure… but the working of the Holy Spirit and slow progress will bring light.
I will bring my failures to the cross, seek God’s strength, and continue to BUILD.
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.Lamentations 3:22-23