“Come on 2016!” I can’t wait for this year to be over…it has been a living hell!” This was a post I recently read on facebook that typifies a growing attitude that dismisses ones’ personal responsibility for things gone wrong in our life. People with this mindset won’t admit that they have played any part in the drama that defines their life; when, in fact, they have often played the leading role. Wouldn’t life be grand if the consequences of our mistakes suddenly vanished at the stroke of twelve? If only our bad habits and stinking attitudes would suddenly disappear. But it’s not that simple. Unfortunately, there is no New Year’s Fairy with a magic wand that will make everything better overnight. No, it doesn’t work that way. There comes a time when we’ve got to get honest with ourselves and seriously consider that our stupid choices came back to bite us. Then we’ve got to seek the reasons why our pickers are broken. Broken Pickers? What in the world are you talking about Eloise???? Well, there is usually an underlying, unconscious, reason for the choices we make. A reason we do what we do. The real motive behind picking one thing over the other. If you are always picking the wrong people as partners and/or continually making wrong life choices then you’ve got to find out why. Otherwise, nothing will change. This coming year will be a carbon copy of last year if we continue to do the same wrong things.
Making outside adjustments will never correct our inside problems. If you are up to the challenge then let me warn you. Growing pains hurt. Painful memories can’t be covered up by manipulating our environment and ignoring the real problem. There is nothing we can buy; there is no place we can move; no new friend we can make; and no plastic surgery or make-over we can get that will give us the peace we are missing. These are all temporary bandages that cover up the real problem that resides inside.
It will take ruthless truth-seeking and tireless effort to take this trip. Traveling to the ‘center of you’ will not be comfortable; and it will not be quick. There is a lot of needless baggage that we all carry around that gets in the way and bogs us down. Why not toss it aside? It takes a lot of courage to do some serious soul-searching to find and get rid of the garbage we accumulated along the way. But it is sure to make life better. And, isn’t that what we’re after?
Dag Hammarskjold, diplomat, economist and author once said that the longest journey anyone can take is the journey inward. The bible keeps repeating this message again and again. So it seems that renewing our mind–changing our wrong perspectives for better ones–is something that will bless our lives. Blessings are benefits of our relationship with God. But blessings are hindered by the things we choose to do that go against God’s will. He wants us to realize that our life won’t run smoothly if our mind is out of sync with Him. The choice is ours.
God has promised to give us good health, prosperity, and a joyful life when we believe in what Christ did to make that possible. Jesus died to give us a complete and balanced life. However, we are often our own worst enemy. We sabotage the bounty that is ready and waiting to be enjoyed by the wrong choices we continue to make. One of the definitions I’ve heard for ‘insanity’ is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. If only God would have created us with a note on our forehead that says: “To Achieve Maximum Potential, Regular Attitude Adjustments Required”. Maybe then we’d remember to guard our minds against self-centered thoughts that hinder our ability to hear God’s voice. Ironic how being self-centered keeps us from getting what we’re after.
We wish one another a prosperous New Year without really thinking about what that means. God’s view of prosperity has to do with success in all areas of our lives. Peace of mind, good health and the ability to make a living are all components of prosperous living. So, let this be the year that we determine what we want and why we want it. Let this be the year we stop chasing after the wrong things. If peace of mind and joy are what we are after then we must learn to be grateful for what we already possess, stop whining about the things we don’t have; working for the glory of God for a good purpose. Let this be the year that we stop praying with the wrong motives—reminding ourselves that although God says everything is permissible, He also says that not everything is beneficial.
A New Year is a good time to take internal inventory. First of all, if you’ve asked Christ into your life as your Savior, your eternal future is guaranteed. If we lack everything else but have salvation, then we’ve already received more than we deserve. Salvation is the clean slate we all hope for. If you are saved, just consider where you were before salvation, and how far God has already brought you. And, be glad that God’s wisdom is always at your disposal. You can make the right choices for a better life this coming year if you maintain God’s perspectives. All you have to do is believe, be still and listen.
May this be your year of discovery, fulfillment and purpose.