First off, I know all of you English people are going INSANE right now. So is my grammar check. Let me explain.
It’s almost New Years, and what does that mean?? You got it: New Years resolutions… you know, the lonnnnnggg list we create in hopes to improve on and invest in. The one that only lasts for about two months?? Yeah that. Fun times.
I love lists. I love being organized. I love being productive and busy. So, of course, New Years resolutions are my thing. The feeling I get when I keep it up for a month or two is amazing and makes me feel like I’m doing something with my life.
But let’s get real, no one every keeps their resolutions through February 28th, let alone December 31st. (If you are someone who does, or know someone who does, LET ME KNOW. Help a sister out!!)
The bible tells us over and over again, specifically Paul tells us, to not be overrun by legalism. Now THAT is something I struggle with. (See that paragraph above on my obsession with checking the boxes). Black and white. This is wrong and this is right. Period. This especially comes across when New Years comes along. We get wrapped up in every little thing we need to do to improve and honestly it gets overwhelming and we, at least I, just end up failing at everything rather than just one or two things.
In 8th grade, my English teacher (s/o to Mr. Stallworth) was very creative: loved to read, write, take photographs, etc. He assigned us the project of painting a ceiling tile. We were to paint a word that we were going to focus on in 20whateveritwas. A word. Not a list. A word. This way the brain has one task to focus on that can apply to pretty much everything. This has done WONDERS for me ever since then. Although I do love my lists, maybe they aren’t the best way to go for New Years. A word, or short phrase, can be written down on a sticky note and stuck on the mirror- BOOM! a daily reminder of what you are to accomplish this year.
This year, 2019, my phrase will be choose good.
Life is full of choices. Right and wrong, good and bad, easy and tough. The list can go on. Literally everything we do is based off of a choice. I had this revelation of what my phrase for 2019 would be while I was working. I work in the restaurant business, so of course, there are probably 20 choices for dinner in the area I am working. The guests could’ve chosen anywhere to go, and they chose us! I often leave my tables with the phrase “Thank you for choosing Olive Garden! Come back soon.” And God just lit the lightbulb in my head.
It makes so much sense. I have been CHOOSING poorly recently. Not as in bad choices necessarily (don’t worry guys). But I have been CHOOSING to be “too tired” to do my devotion, when really, I would just proceed to get on my phone. I have CHOSEN to react to situations in the wrong way. I have CHOSEN the wrong words at the wrong time. And I do have my fair share of bad choices.
I heard God say in that moment at Olive Garden, “you always have a choice.” HE’S SO RIGHT (as always). Believe it or not, you have a choice. Always. When I say I don’t have time for the devotion, I’m choosing to waste my time some other way. When my prayer life isn’t as it should be, I’m (kind of unconsciously) choosing to think about other things. There is always a choice. And sometimes that is hard for me to swallow. To accept the blame for my spiritual life being down in the dumps, or my attitude being rude or bitter. God is always pursuing us, but we almost never pursue Him in the way he deserves. And we have no one to blame but ourselves. If I’m “too busy,” cut out something. If I am “too tired,” go to sleep earlier. It’s always our choice. God made it that way. He made it that way to bring us closer to him. To bring more glory to His goodness, His consistency, His faithfulness. To show us how much we truly need him.
In 2019, I am going to choose good. I’m going to choose to do good to others, to myself, to God.
I am going to choose good for myself. Choose to treat myself with the respect and love God treats me with. I will choose to speak to myself only positively, but still critically (never stop trying to be better than you were yesterday!!). I will choose to do good to my body. Eat, drink and exercise like I should. I will choose to do good to myself by staying productive and not allowing myself let the precious moments of life go to waste.
I am going to choose to do good to others. Not do well, do good. (If this reminds you of the TV show I am thinking of, I will love you forever). Treat them as brothers and sisters. I will choose to see them as God does: precious children who are made in His perfect image. I will choose to serve them as Jesus would: faithfully and unconditionally.
I am going to choose to do good to Christ. To honor Him in the way he so truly deserves. To sacrifice my time (and sleep) to read my Bible and grow in relationship with Him. I will choose to do good in my prayer life. Not well, not the best compared to others. But I will do good- I will pray for those in physical need, emotional and spiritual turmoil, or all of those combined. I will be more intentional with my prayer life and honor my brothers and sisters by praying constantly for them. I will do good by praying for my future, and my present. For guidance and peace. I will do good to Jesus this year by honoring Him with choosing to do good with my time.
What will you change this year? What is a single phrase or word that you can focus on in 2019? (Hopefully yours will be grammatically correct).
I challenge you to do good this year. Be kind to others, serve others, honor God, honor yourself and your body. Do good.
Conquer this world of bad with your spirit of good.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.”