Ok folks, many people either love resolutions or loathe them. I am not one to pick sides, but I personally am in the camp of loving them, (please don’t hate me), but it wasn’t always this way!
I had times of desire to change aspects of my life, I would try and try again, but to no avail. At some point I would give up, forget about it for some time and then be reminded the following year of all that I had failed at.
After years of growth with God, He finally showed me (or I finally accepted) a “resolutionary” way of thinking! I was going about it all wrong and the moment I grasped this new concept, it made all the difference in the world…and I’m not talking about being positive or having the right support in your lives (although helpful)…I’m talking about something that appears to be the opposite of wanting change…
Are you ready for this profound, life altering concept….you might not be so happy once you see it…be prepared…
I know right! Not exactly what you wanted to hear…but stay with me…this word does not mean what you think it means…the definition above does not equate to being complacent…it actually means something entirely different!!
I recently worked through a devotional about the secret of being content. The following is an excerpt from that devotional.
“The word content (4:11) comes from a Greek word that means self-sufficient or independent…
And, Phil 4:13 clearly shows that Paul did not mean the word (contentment) in the pagan sense of self-sufficiency, since he affirms that his sufficiency is in Christ.
Neither does contentment mean complacency. As Christians we can work to better our circumstances as we have opportunity. The Bible extols hard work and the rewards that come from it, as long as we are free from greed. Paul tells slaves not to give undue concern to gaining their freedom, but if they are able to do so, they should (1 Cor. 7:21). If you’re single and feel lonely, there is nothing wrong with seeking a godly mate, as long as you’re not so consumed with the quest that you lack the sound judgment that comes from waiting patiently on the Lord. If you’re in an unpleasant job, there is nothing wrong with going back to school to train for a better job or from making a change to another job, as long as you do so in submission to the will of God.
So what does contentment mean? It is an inner sense of rest or peace that comes from being right with God and knowing that He is in control of all that happens to us. It means having our focus on the kingdom of God and serving Him, not on the love of money and things. If God grants us material comforts, we can thankfully enjoy them, knowing that it all comes from His loving hand. But, also, we seek to use it for His purpose by being generous. If He takes our riches, our joy remains steady, because we are fixed on Him (see 1 Tim. 6:6-10, 17-19). Contentment also means not being battered around by difficult circumstances or people, and not being wrongly seduced by prosperity, because our life is centered on a living relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. So no matter what happens to us or what others do to us, we have the steady assurance that the Lord is for us and He will not forsake us.“–bible.org
In regards to resolutions, contentment changes everything!
There are many areas in our lives that God does not want us to be complacent about, but he does ask us to be content within the struggle.
Too many times we forget about focusing on God, lose our perspective and become jealous of those living in the changes we seek. We become discontent with our circumstance and lose heart over the hard work ahead of us. We are not content to be challenged, we are not content in our difficult circumstance and we become defeated and give up.
Instead, we should refocus on God and allow him to show us His Will in the situation and not compare our path to others. Many of us feel that God shouldn’t have us walk the hard path of choices and consequences, but those are the best times of teaching for us all!
My husband described some of these situation as standing in the center of a large circle. A circle big enough to take some time to walk out of, but not too big that we cannot see the edge. When working through change, one
cannot just jump out of the circle, most of the time you have to walk through all the things you are attempting to change, but the edge will get closer and closer. Sometimes it takes years for changes to be noticeable, sometimes its only a few days…but whatever the amount of time, a person needs to be content in that tomorrow will only be one step closer, but only one step…and that is just fine. Be content with the progress made, don’t look over at your neighbour and wish for his path…it’s not the one God has for you and would never be what you need.
My best example is the year I begged God for patience…of course we have all heard that God does not give you patience, he just gives you opportunities to practice patience…but it wasn’t until I was content to only be practicing that I started to make progress. I was so frustrated with failing and losing my patience simply because I expected to have it already. Once I realized I needed to be content with where I was at, I could continue to move forward whatever that looked like for me. I stopped comparing myself to others, stopped expecting the end result “right now” and began embracing the only thing I had…God.
Patience is something that I will not give up on and then start again next year just because I failed…this is something that I will be content to practice for as long as it takes. I still don’t know when the end result will happen, or if it will ever happen, but I am sufficient in Christ, as he knows what I need to experience in order to have the fruit of patience.
Weight loss is a popular one at new years, and is not wrong by any means, as long as it becomes a health goal and not a jealousy situation.
God asks you to be content with who you are, but not to be complacent in areas where you are able to be in control of certain health goals. If you are able to be healthier, you should aim for that, and only work at it one day at a time. Having a goal for yourself should be a motivator, but not an obsession that takes you out of God’s will for your life. God knows what He needs you to work through, to overcome
and to be successful in. He is well aware of you and your vices and would love for you to be healthy. But he also knows if you need to fall down a few times in order to see how strong you are when you get back up. He also knows what your body can and can’t handle, and if your goal is to lose 5 pounds a week, but your body can only handle 1, then don’t let that be a discouragement…let that be a moment of trust…a moment of contentment with what God has for you.
Contentment affects all areas of our lives; debt, budgets, health goals, life circumstances, and is something that I would love to achieve in every area. In order to do this, I must focus on God in all areas, not the resolution.
In conclusion, go for those goals, those resolutions, but plan them and prepare them to be in God’s will and learn to be content within His plans.
May God reveal to us the areas we are discontent in, the areas we need to be less complacent about and how to balance these within His Will.
Learning and Growing With You,
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