As 2018 started coming to a close and the new year made it’s debut, my Facebook feed quickly filled with images and quotes with promises of a new ‘you.’
Thus, the desire to kick off the new year with less baggage, to include, but not limited to, toxic people, wrecked emotions, and things in our past that we wish we could just forget, etc.
A New Year and Its Resolutions
With the onset of a new year, we try on a new look, outlook, and attitude and set out to have a stellar year. That is until the show is over and the newness wears off. We become all undone when the next toxic person shows up; we fail to live up to our fleshly expectations; or fall down on our new path. With skinned knees, we throw in the proverbial towel. Folks, a change in the calendar does not induce a heart-centered change in you. Only God can do that.
Before you set yourself up for failure, know this: You must prepare yourself by preparing your hearts response to the people and circumstances that will inevitably show up in your life and demand your energy and attention. You know, “Murphy,” your ex, that toxic friend, co-worker, or family member. Striving in your own efforts to be a better person, with even the best of intentions to improve your overall self, simply doesn’t work. You can’t will your way into your best you with skin deep resolutions.
Why Resolutions Fail…
Within 3 days of the new year, the same people in my Facebook feed had succumbed. Ill-prepared to govern the ordinary or in an emotional tailspin after their unrealistic expectations were left unmet, they trashed the skin deep resolution and engaged in a public pity party. Did you know that sharing your self-pity on social media, allows you to fish for words of encouragement, and get some ‘likes,’ superficially boosting your serotonin levels in exchange for a ‘feel-good’ moment? Not to worry though, it too is fleeting. Whatever you do if you run into someone like this: don’t be honest with them. They are NOT seeking real change. That was only part of the show.
So, to them I say this: You flipped your calendar over and your life didn’t change. And? What investment did you make? Oh, you added a nice filter to your witty little quote and made it all pretty? Wrong! I don’t care what filter you use, how witty your quote is (or isn’t); how many times you promise yourself that you’re going to be more patient, more kind, talk less, listen more, be a better wife, mother, sister, whatever. It ain’t happening, not even with all your grit. You know why? Because YOU ARE NOT THAT POWERFUL! None of us are.
Where Change Happens…
Lasting change requires you to spend time with God. You must carve time out of your ‘busy’ schedule and get to know Him and talk to Him as if He sits at your dinner table each and every night. The kind of relationship whereas He is your source, not just your resource when life gets hard.
People are influenced by the people in their environment. How many times have you caught yourself sounding like your mother? Or you said something that sounded more like your best friend than something you would say? The same thing happens when you hang out with God. You become more like Him. He came to earth as a man, [Jesus] and then sent His only Son to die on the cross JUST so He could have a relationship with His creation – YOU! – Not so you could have a religion, but a relationship. And here you come, trying to do it all yourself. Girl, bye!
If you want to be a better version of you, then walk with Him. Not just on good days, or bad, but every day.
Grace & Peace,