The New Year celebrations turn into resolutions for the New Year. How successful have you been with resolutions over the years? Do you start with good intentions only to fail miserably by the time March hits? Or maybe sooner? I’ve never been one for hollow pledges of self-improvement. Oh, yes, I am a believer in positive change – but I don’t believe it is something we can do on our own on January 1. We need the help of the Holy Spirit! So, how about trading resolutions for grace? I like that idea…and not grace just for the month of January, but for the entire year! I have a few exciting goodies for you at the end of this post, but let’s chat about a few things first, OK? Here is how I am Trading Resolutions For Grace with 3 Truths That Will Motivate Change In Your Life.
One thing my husband and I like to do at the start of a new year is to reflect on the year that has passed and consider ways in which we may begin our new year fresh and clean. What are some areas that we look at and reflect upon?
We take a look at our hearts and see if there is any unforgiveness rooted there. I have spent a few weeks discussing this topic and I understand that many times forgiveness is a long process. But it can be easy to forget…or ignore…our need to forgive someone during the busyness of life. Addressing the issue of forgiveness is a great way to start the year.
Is there someone who you need to forgive? Someone who has wronged you and yet you continue to swim in the sea of unforgiveness.
I think this is something that many of us struggle with and have to keep in check often – at least I do. Make that choice today. Choose to forgive that person – or in some cases – those people.
Don’t Be A Monkey!
We do a little self-check to see if there is any hidden ‘trash’ in our hearts. Any repressed sin? Any habits that are not healthy? How about personal boundaries? Are they healthy and intact? Feelings of bitterness? Anger?
When I think about holding onto sin or anything unhealthy, I am reminded of that monkey story. Have you heard of the one where a monkey finds a box with succulent fruit inside? The opening of the box is just big enough for his hand. So, he sticks his hand in the box to get the fruit. But when he tries to get his fruit grasped fist out, it won’t fit through the hole. The opening is too small for his fist. The only way to ESCAPE would be for the monkey to let go of the fruit. But he refuses to let go of what he desperately wants. So, he stays stuck and trapped by his greed and sense of entitlement.
Let It Go
Does this scenario sound familiar? What is keeping you trapped?
How about letting go of garbage in your life this New Year? Do you know what happens when we hang on to negative things for years and years? What about the person who is STILL hanging on to a situation from many, many years ago? This goes far beyond unforgiveness. This is bondage. It is unforgiveness that has lead to bondage.
God is ready to take hold of those things you have been holding onto in that box. Are you ready to let go of that bad fruit you have in your fist? Are you ready to hand that box over to God? His hand is outstretched, ready.
Let 2017 be the year you lay it at the foot of the cross. You don’t have to carry it around anymore.
Begin to travel light this year
The Calling Of God
Is God calling you to something? Did you ignore His invitation to something wonderful – and fearful – in 2016? He will hold your head up. He will make your path straight. Your Heavenly Father will light the way. He will not let you fall. He will steady your feet. Let this be the year that you step out in faith and follow the leadership and guidance of your Heavenly Father. You won’t be sorry.
Expect Him to do something NEW in you and for you this year. May our greatest expectations come from Him. Our utmost hope must not come from ourselves or from anyone else. Isn’t that what New Year’s resolutions really are anyway? Looking to the self for improvement and expectations? And then when we fail to live up to those expectations, we lose hope and become discouraged.
He Never Fails
But He never fails. He remains faithful when all hope has been lost everywhere else. Even when we have lost hope in ourselves – and this is a GOOD thing! I don’t want my hope to be in myself!
As we reflect on the year that has passed and look forward to a new year, how can we grow closer to our Heavenly Father? How can we rest and hold fast to our Saviour? Besides the actions mentioned here, what do you plan to do? Share your ideas below in the comment section!
Here is a FREE printable Goal setting guide that goes along with this post. I pray that it will bless your marriage, family and your own personal walk with the Lord. Simply download and print! Choose a quiet time to work through these questions with your spouse. If you children are older and it is appropriate, include them in this discussion. Spend some time in prayer as a family or with your spouse before discussing these questions and responding.
My friend, Arabah, has put together this exciting and incredible course of setting goals for 2017. She has entitled it Grace Goals – is there any wonder why I love that title? GRACE – Oh, the wonder of grace. (Click the link above or the photo on the left to be taken to the product listing)
She teaches us to call on our Helper, the Holy Spirit, to help us change and grow instead of relying on our faulty and flawed selves. As an affiliate with Arabah Joy, I do receive a small commission from sales through the link on my site. I don’t recommend resources and products unless I use them as well! I have my copy of the course already and I can’t wait to start – it looks so great.
“But the vast majority of goal setting resources out there fail to go deep enough on a spiritual level to actually equip us to change. They give us great “how-to” but not enough “carry through.”” ~Arabah Joy, Grace Goals.
I love how the first workshop in the course centers around Jesus’ question to one of His disciples, “What do you want?” I’ve imagined Jesus asking me this very same question many times. What do I want from Him? I mean what do I really want? What do I want for 2017?
- Deeper healing
- Renewed Hope
- Freedom from certain areas of bondage
I am excited about what God is going to do in your life in 2017!
As BONUS offer, I have a Monthly Planning Sheet printable for anyone who purchases Arabah’s course! Simply email me at email@example.com with a copy of your receipt for Grace Goals and I will send you the PDF for the planning sheets!
These sheets include a 2-sheet set for one month (print off a new set each month) and questions to help you stay focused. For example, What matters most this month, Who can we help this month? and One thing I’d love to accomplish this month.
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