Wednesday, January 4, 2012

The Un-Resolution

I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, And my soul knows it very well. Psalm 139:14

Possibly you are among those who find the New Year pressure more than you want to deal with.  Can you hear those who have just turned the corner after all the Thanksgiving and Christmas celebration and now they face the New Year requirement of making resolutions. You are not alone who are crying out, “Enough!  This is killing me.  I can’t stand the pressure I feel from everything around me.”  Maybe you are ready to make an un-resolution.  

Every year we do this to ourselves. We make New Year’s resolutions to be skinnier, better at this and that, save more money, get out of debt, be a better parent, and the list goes on. We make unrealistic expectations on ourselves that we cannot meet and set ourselves up for failure. Then we feel bad about ourselves, worse than we already felt.

Here are some interesting statistics about New Year’s Resolutions:

45% of Americans usually set New Year’s Resolutions;
 ■17% infrequently set resolutions;
 ■38% absolutely never set resolutions. 

Only 8% of people are always successful in achieving their resolutions.
 ■19% achieve their resolutions every other year.
 ■49% have infrequent success.

 ■24% (one in four people) NEVER succeed and have failed on every resolution every year. That means that 3 out of 4 people almost never succeed!

The less happy you are, the more likely you are to set New Year’s Resolutions. This is especially true for those who set money-related resolutions: 41% are not happy, 34% are moderately happy, and 25% are happy. 

This year maybe you want to just enjoy life; to release yourself from the pressure of trying to be perfect.  We can get very tired of trying to meet unrealistic expectations; self-imposed included. 
Here’s a resolution for you: Therefore, I resolve to do the very best I can do.  This does not mean I am writing myself a ticket to do less, not try or show any ambition.  This means that I want to be happier with things when I am doing the very best I can.  God does not expect me to be perfect, but to seek Him and His righteousness.  He has grace and mercy abounding for us.  He understands when we are spinning our wheels and going nowhere.  He sees how hard we try and better still, He knows our hearts.  He sees the desires that might never come to fruition.  He loves us anyway, bumps, bruises, warts and all.   

So this year resolve to be more merciful on yourself.  Do your best, make some changes, but be realistic!  And above all, be easy on yourself when you miss the mark because occasionally we all miss the mark.  Accept the grace, mercy and compassion that our Heavenly Father lavishes on us.  Allow yourself to partake. 

Scripture to Claim:
 For the LORD does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart. 1Samuel 16:7b (NKJV) 

Just Be Yourself!

Then I said, “Alas, Lord GOD! Behold, I do not know how to speak, because I am a youth.” But the LORD said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am a youth,’ because everywhere I send you, you shall go, and all that I command you, you shall speak. “Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you to deliver you,” declares the LORD Jeremiah 1:6-8

Jeremiah told God, “I do not know how to speak, because I am a youth.”  Sound familiar? Have you been saying, “I don’t have what it takes"? God told Jeremiah, Don’t tell me I don’t know what I am doing!  It is evident He had already made His mind up and would use Jeremiah.

After actors audition for a part, the director conducts what are known as "callbacks.”  At that point the actor either gets the part or it goes to somebody else.  But when an actor is experienced and well-known, sometimes the director will offer them the part without an audition.  Understand this; God doesn’t do auditions and callbacks!  That's because He's already designed a role for you that nobody else could fill.  Even if others were to study you endlessly they still couldn’t be you.

When God says, “I know you by name and you have found favor with me" (Ex 33:12 NI\/), be careful about responding to any other call except the one that comes from Him.  Since God designed you with all the built-in qualifications you need, you don't have to compromise your convictions, manipulate, drop names or do special favors.  The part is yours!  And don't be jealous or intimidated by anybody else no matter how talented they are.  In God's eyes there are no other contenders; you're it!  You're the only one who can fill the slot because He created it with you in mind.  When you feel insecure and unqualified, remind yourself of that.

Do you remember Rosa Parks, the black woman who refused to surrender her seat to a white man and move to the back of the bus?  There was more at stake that day than just a ride home from work.  By simply being herself, Rosa suddenly moved to center stage.  She wasn’t playing games. She was the real thing, and God shone a light on her soul that day that changed history.

That’s how it works: when God’s light shines on your efforts, little becomes much.  Jesus said, "lf you're content yourself, your life will count."  Now, since God is the only One who knows when your time will come, you must be prepared.  "How do I do that?" you ask.  The Bible answers; Be humble under God's powerful hand so he will lift you up when the right time comes.7 Give all your worries to him, because he cares about you. (1 Peter 5 :6-7) New Century Version (NCV)

Allow the Holy Spirit to be your agent and advance man.  Don’t get ahead of Him.  Just be faithful; when the time is right God will shine His spotlight on the next stage and assign you an even bigger role.  And when the moment comes for you to stride confidently into the spotlight and fulfill your God-given role, try to remember that there’s no room for self-importance and pretence. This moment calls for; (1) stripping away all lesser roles you've acted out and settled for; (2) discovering who you are and what your life is really about; (3) depending totally on God to help you give the most authentic performance of your career.
God does not need you to become someone else to do what He wants you to do.  Who you are is enough, where you are is enough, but most of all God is enough!  Surrender to His plan and discover the great plans He has for you in the year ahead.

Scripture to Claim
The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him, and I am helped; therefore my heart exults, and with my song I shall thank Him.  Psalms 28:7

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