Dadgum it! It’s here again!

Dadgum it! It’s here again!

Yep, it’s “resolutions” time. You know, the “comfort fibs” we tell ourselves about how we are gonna do better, be different, and accomplish much. I am faced with this annual reminder of minor successes in a sea of epic fails.

I’m not being negative. I’m being honest...with you. Seriously, every year I have determined to read daily “My Utmost for His Highest.” Let’s just say that…I’ve read every one of the devotionals…just not in one year. Oswald would be so disappointed in me. And what about reading the Bible through in a year?? I do great until I get to what I call “God’s little speed bump” otherwise known as Leviticus. (If I had been asked, I would have suggested that book be placed at the end. Just saying…)

Every January I give my body (i.e. weight) God. I wind up losing some pounds only to be surprised how convenient that Branson Krispy Kreme really is! I mean, it’s only a short mile and a half out of my way. Maybe I should get out of the car and RUN to KK. Oh, that reminds me…did you know that there is actually a KK running event?! You run 2 miles, eat a dozen KK’s, then run back 2 miles to the finish line. The race appears to be diabolically designed to make you hate running and/or doughnuts.

The real question here is: Am I setting my self up for failure? How? I hope you aren’t like me but if you are, you may struggle with unrealistic expectations. Perfection is an unrealistic and unhealthy goal. You can’t do it. And – news flash – God doesn’t demand it. We read in the Bible “be ye perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect” and make that into our life verse only to find a life filled with constant frustration.

So, what do we do about this? First, understand that God is the ONLY one who can be perfect. He would never put that criteria on us. Secondly, the word translated “perfect” actually means complete; finished. Does knowing that fact change things for you? It should. Why? Because…it is by His grace that we are made complete…in Christ…by His power. Notice that our ability had nothing to do with it. Freeing thought, right?

And…back to those pesky resolutions. My suggestions are as follows:

1.Make them “bite sized.” Don’t overwhelm yourself with goals that bring up the thought “What was I thinking?”
2.Find a partner. Two can become more consistent than one.
3. Speaking of consistent…focus on that. If you miss a day start over the next day.
4. Celebrate the little victories. (See “bite sized”) Take time to thank God for the accomplishment.
5. Make it a God thing. Make your “bent” towards obedience not perfection. If you fail, repent and thank Him for His grace.      (And yes, I did use the “r” word.)
6. Finally, let love lead. You will always be able to do more from a heart of love than a sense of guilt.
Well, now that I’ve written this...I feel much better. I think I can enjoy my goals this year. But for full disclosure I need to make you aware that KK’s are in none of my resolutions. Well, kinda. I told God that I wouldn’t stop unless the “hot now” light
was on. (I’m glad gas prices are down. Driving up and down the Branson strip was getting expensive!)

Your sort of resolute pastor,