(Written by Emily Matthews)
I resolve to…
We made it past Christmas. Now, naturally we turn inward and identify all the things about ourselves we want to change. (because we are so self centered, right?!)
The way I see it, New Years resolutions are about either:
1. Adding something new
2.Taking something away
3.Or changing something we don’t like
I will disclose that last year one of my resolutions was to wear lipstick more often (because I am obviously as deep as a puddle). Anyway.
How ironic, one week we reflect on the precious gift we get from the Word becoming flesh to dwell among us. Immanuel, God with us. The next week we turn all self centered and negative about our appearance, weight, finances, relationships, life circumstances, whatever.
I have an alternative. What if we just reflect on this-
“Like a city whose walls are broken through is a person who lacks self-control.” Proverbs 25:28
Ouch. I don’t want to be a city with broken walls, all helpless and vulnerable. City walls were defenses against intruders. So, we want to have walls. But- Self-control. Gee, that sounds like something I’ve heard about before. Oh yeah, it’s part of the fruit of the spirit (see Galatians 5:22).
What if we looked at self-control as a God thing and not an “us thing”. It’s a spirit (Jesus) thing and not a “I’m just going to try harder this time” thing. It’s Jesus in us having control and it’s not acting like toddlers who want everything that is right in front of us. (Have you been shopping with a toddler and they lose their minds in the checkout aisle when they see the candy. This happened to me 1 hour ago. Ugh)
That list of resolutions… I’m not saying it’s a bad thing to have goals. And there may be some things that we really do need to change. But, you can’t change anything without self-control. Without God, you won’t have the self-control. This sounds too simplified, I know. But, what if we just start 2016 here. It’s a posture. Want something new or different this year? Maybe it’s time we invite Jesus into that. You can’t do it. But He can. You are weak. He is strong. Embrace your weakness. Oh and that just so happens to be what we are discussing at the kick off. So, join us on January 6th to learn what it means to “embrace your weakness.” It’s going to be good.