Grace-filled Resolutions

This year I am committed to not getting overwhelmed with a list of resolutions and to-dos for 2012. Rather, I decide here and now to face the new year in a posture of grace and discipline. I think all this resolution-making really boils down to two different types of potential goals.
I have some things that I would love to accomplish in the next year: get back in shape, earn some extra income, and learn how to play the guitar. These things are things that whether I do them or not don’t really alter or effect my relationship with Jesus or others. So, with these things I plan to approach them under the umbrella of grace. Next November, if I haven’t worked out all year, I don’t want to be eating rice cakes and doing lunges in a last ditch effort to meet my goals. I want to remember who I am in Jesus and whether I am leaner or rounder, He loves me still the same and sees me as beautiful. If I don’t ever find a way to make some extra money, my comfort won’t depend on a paycheck, but on the faithfulness of the Lord. If I spend all year trying to remember which guitar string is the B string, God will still define my worth not in what I am capable of doing, but in the power of the resurrection that lives in me. Knowing all this when I set to begin my goal-making process for the next year, dramatically alters how I approach the action plan to completing them.
I have other goals for this next year too. This second set are different in that they do make a difference in who I am. They are goals that transform me through discipline. They are resolutions that ultimately disciple me and shape me so that I act, look, and speak more like the creation I am intended to me. These kind of goals will greatly effect my relationships, both with Jesus and others.
My first “disciple” goal is to commit to memory more truths from His word. I have been learning over the past year to identify those lies with which Satan attacks me the most. Now, for this next year, I need to seek out and know in my heart God’s truths that directly apply to my insecurities and fears. This will take discipline and routine for me.
I also want to teach my children scripture that will speak directly to the needs of their heart. As they grow, I am learning more about how they too are attacked. I think this will bring our family together over the next year, focusing on the truths and promises Jesus has for all of us. To disciple my children will also take discipline.
Viewing these types of goals as an effort to disciple and to be discipled also causes a different posture when laying them out. These goals in particular seem to draw out in us a hunger for Jesus. The awesome thing is that this kind of labor and goal-setting will always be fruitful, because here, ultimately the work is in the hands of Jesus to do the transforming and growing…so no regrets come 2013.
Under the umbrella of grace, even when I let a month go by without looking at my memory verse, I can live freely in the assurance that Jesus continues to teach me and shape me. I don’t have to keep tabs and live in a law-driven relationship with Jesus. I rest in the promise of his providence and redemptive love.
When I feel guilty for eating the extra slice of cake or for feeding the lies my children are believing I can turn to a loving and forgiving God who loves me simply for being me. He knows my heart, He knows my journey, He knows my weaknesses and failures. He will forever remain a faithful Father rejoicing over His daughter.

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