Monday, January 7, 2013

Guilt, Shame and New Year's Resolutions

New Year's Resolution # 1 -- Blog more often. FAIL TRY AGAIN
New Year's Resolution #2 -- Read my Bible everyday. FAIL TRY AGAIN
New Year's Resolution #3 -- Exercise. FAIL TRY AGAIN
New Year's Resolution #4 -- Eat better. FAIL TRY AGAIN

ENOUGH! Oh the shame of it all. I didn't expect to start the new year under-the-weather. When I woke each morning of January after a rotten night's sleep, I did not reach for my Bible. Instead I reached for a tissue and some ibuprophen. I didn't bound downstairs, fire up my computer to write a blog, or strap on my skis for a glide around the back field. I sure didn't fix a steaming bowl of oatmeal with walnuts and raisins. Instead I stood in a hot steamy shower and then collapsed on the couch -- calling it a day before even starting my day.

And suddenly, the calendar says 7 days of January have passed. Sheesh.

Feeling better now. Took down the Christmas decorations...well, 1/2 of the decorations. Packed for a trip to Arizona. Checked the weather in Phoenix. The forecaste is 70 degrees, which sounds absolutely glorious. So good that I'm sure to get back on track with those darn resolutions.

I've been inspired to make one more resolution -- more important than the others. I want to use Scripture, apply it to my life to change me. I don't want to use it to judge others. Pfffft...that's so easy and natural. And I swear, people think they are I think I am being a better Christian by showing off how well versed and knowledgable they are I am by juding everyone else's sins. I've been asking myself as I come to the end of reading through the entire Bible last year (another failed resolution, but hey, I might nail it by February 2013), what is the purpose of God's written down words?

I believe it's to show us how awesome and mighty He is... and that we simply don't measure up. Try as we may, even the best of us isn't good enough. Only God is good. But for some reason, known only to Him, he loves us and wants us to love him, so he made a way. The point of the Bible is to show us it's not by our works, it's by His grace that we are saved. Does the Bible tell us how we should then live? Yes it does. It says Love one another as I have loved you. It says Don't judge. It says Repent. It says Rejoice and be glad. It says Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. It says You can't do any of that on your own strength, but be of good cheer, Jesus came to make a way, and with Him, through Him, in Him all things are possible. We can do all things through Him.

Trusting in that, my new New Year's resolution is to not judge anyone other than myself. Not shame anyone (even myself), but humbly walk with God. He has shown us the way to please Him (Micah 6:8): love mercy, act justly, and walk humbly with your God (i.e. follow his example).

I can do that. It may take a little reminding, a bit of chastising, and even a little guilt, but I can do that. Not on my own of course, but with His help, I can do that. And when I FAIL I'll just hit the strike through and change it to TRY AGAIN. He just keeps giving me do-overs and second chances. What a God he is!

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