Are you a New Year's resolution maker? I'm not.
Over the years, I've found the tradition of vowing to change at the start of the New Year to be an exercise in disappointment. Every year, my diets fail, my habits stay the same, and my resolutions to do things differently fall flat.
Maybe that's because I've been focusing on the wrong things.
There's nothing wrong with making the choice to be healthier or try new things at the start of a new year. But, this year I'm feeling motivated to make changes that truly matter. I want the same for you.
As I think about you and what I hope for you in 2015, my thoughts keep circling back to the impact of God's truth. Most of you come to this site because you've already been exposed to God's truth in some way. But if you are like me, there is evidence in your life that that truth hasn't truly transformed the way that you live.
There's a difference between knowing God's truth and fully embracing it. I can't imagine the ways our lives would change if we chose to believe what God says in His Word and allowed that truth to change how we live. It's even more exciting for me to envision the impact we could have on other women by knowing God's truth, believing it, and putting it into action. That thought gives me goose bumps.
I'll help you get started. In the last chapter of Lies Young Women Believe, Nancy and Dannah list several powerful truths to counter everyday lies. I've turned a few of those truths into action steps for the New Year. Your job is to identify the areas of your life that are in need of a dose of God's truth and put that truth to work in your own life.
Ready? Let's choose truth together!
- I will praise God on good days and bad days this year.
"You are good and do good" (Ps. 119:68a).
When everything is going right, it's easy to believe that God is good and to praise Him because of it. But when life gets tough, we are tempted to question God's goodness and "forget" to praise Him. When your life gets messy, you can choose to believe God's Word rather than trusting your emotions and praise God in all circumstances.
- I will live like I am deeply loved this year.
"The Lord has appeared to him from afar, saying: Indeed, I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you'" (Jer. 31:3).
Feeling unloved can have a huge impact on the way that we live. Specifically, believing the lie that no one cares about you can lead to depression, anxiety and destructive behaviors. The truth is that you are deeply loved by God. If you believe God's love is real and receive it, it will transform your life.
- I will pay less attention to what others think of me this year.
"Just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, to be holy and blameless before Him in love; He predestined us to adoption as sons to Himself through Jesus Christ according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace which He graciously bestowed on us in the Beloved" (Eph. 1:4-6).
When a friend, a co-worker or a loved one rejects us, it's easy to let that rock our world. It's also easy to get wrapped up in trying to please the people around us in order to avoid that rejection. But God's truth is that He chose you and loved you enough to adopt you into His family. Choosing to fully embrace that truth provides the perspective we need to be less concerned about what others think.
- I won't use stuff to make me feel good this year.
"The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want" (Ps. 23:1).
God is enough to satisfy your needs. If you have Him, you have everything you need. Believing this truth allows you to stop trying to make yourself feel better by having the right stuff. You already have what you need.
- I will do what it takes to overcome a sinful habit this year.
"Knowing this, that our old man has been crucified with Him, so that the body of sin might be destroyed, and we should no longer be slaves to sin. For the one who has died is freed from sin" (Rom. 6:6-7).
God's truth is that you do not have to sin, and every sinful pattern in your life can be overcome by the power of Christ living in you. That doesn't mean that overcoming sin doesn't often take work. You may need to confess your sin to a Christian friend or pastor, recruit an accountability partner or remove a habit or relationship that has become a stumbling block in order to stop a sinful habit in your life. But God's Word promises that you can receive freedom. Believe that truth, and then do what is necessary to remove sin.
- I will embrace a God-sized challenge this year.
"I can do all things because of Christ who strengthens me" (Phil. 4:13).
God has not commanded you to do anything that He will not give you the grace to do. That means, for example, that:
There is no one you cannot love (Matt. 5:44)
You can give thanks in all things (1 Thess. 5:18)
There is no one you cannot forgive (Mark 11:25)
You can be sexually pure (1 Thess. 4:3–4)
- I will accept responsibility for my actions this year.
"The soul who sins shall die. The son shall not bear the punishment of the iniquity of the father, nor shall the father bear the punishment of the iniquity of the son. The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself" (Ezek. 18:20).
You are responsible before God for your behavior, responses and choices. You may not be able to control the things that happen to you this year, but you can control how you respond to the things God allows to come into your life. Making the choice to stop blaming others for the negative patterns in your life and to assume personal responsibility for your own choices will free you to obey God regardless of your circumstances.
- I will be more concerned about my holiness than my happiness this year.
"Be holy, for I am holy" (1 Pet. 1:16).
Jesus didn't die so that we could live a life for ourselves and our own pleasure, but so we could be free to live a life that pleases Him. Pleasing Him will sometimes require sacrifices. But any sacrifice we make is temporary and cannot be compared with the joy and fulfillment we will gain in eternity. Only through seeking to be holy can we ever experience true happiness.
- I will add praise, thanksgiving, listening and confession into my prayer life this year.
"For those whom He foreknew, He predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son" (Rom. 8:29a).
God is more concerned about changing you and glorifying Himself than about solving your problems. With that truth in mind, a balanced prayer life should include more than just asking God to fix your problems. Work to build a relationship with God that is not strictly focused on asking Him to change your circumstances.
- I will focus more on Jesus and less on myself this year.
"He must increase, but I must decrease" (John 3:30).
The truth is it's not about you; it's all about Him. The world was not created to revolve around you. It was created to revolve around Christ. This year, look for every opportunity to make your life more about serving Jesus and attracting others to Him.
Taken from Erin Davis's blog post "Ten Truths That Will Change Your Life in 2015" at truewoman.com. Used with permission.
Get Spirit-filled content delivered right to your inbox! Click here to subscribe to our newsletter.
Great Resources to help you excel in 2019! #1 John Eckhardt's "Prayers That..." 6-Book Bundle. Prayer helps you overcome anything life throws at you. Get a FREE Bonus with this bundle. #2 Learn to walk in the fullness of your purpose and destiny by living each day with Holy Spirit. Buy a set of Life in the Spirit, get a second set FREE.