New Year’s Resolution: Forgive

New Year’s Resolution: Forgive

We are on the brink of a New Year and in typical human fashion New Year’s resolutions are abounding. Whatever it may be–cut the carbs, exercise more often, volunteer regularly—we are committed to make the change, to parallel the newness of the season to newness in our lifestyle. I won’t go into how many resolutions actually fail within the first few weeks, but I challenge you to take one on that will change you from the inside out: Resolve to forgive.

I challenge you to walk into the new year free from of the burden of debt—spiritual debt—holding people to pay a price for which they cannot. I challenge you to release them of whatever ill or wrong they have done and in doing so free both yourself and the perpetrator.

 

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Forgiveness is a Powerful Force

 Sometimes we don’t realize the effect of holding on to stuff. Yet forgiveness is a powerful action; it frees the soul to breathe and receive good from God. I like the God’s Word® translation which reads:

“If you forgive the failures of others, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.” ( Matt. 6:14)

Forgiveness cleanses the soul of ill intentions and foul moods. It helps to deliver us from the toxins brought on by the stress of the burden. Yes, that’s right, we feel better. We will be free from a useless task of the heart because harboring wrongs lead to nowhere.

The Unforgiving Heart

Like pathological disease our harboring will not be contain to just that one offense or even several offenses. An unforgiving heart will develop and even at the height of our successes we are never truly at peace because of something we have not let go. You may say “I am perfectly at peace.” But we are not at peace with God. And without His peace, we truly do not have it. A different interpretation of Matthew 6:14 reads:

“In prayer there is a connection between what God does and what you do. You can’t get forgiveness from God, for instance, without also forgiving others. If you refuse to do your part, you cut yourself off from God’s part. (Matt. 6:14 Msg)

 

 

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Our goal is to be more like Christ, to love unconditionally. When we refuse to forgive we truly distance ourselves from Christ. I mean after all, he came to earth just to forgive!

A New Start

I challenge you to start with a fresh clean heart for the incoming year. And forgive yourself; we often hold ourselves to a higher standard than even God does. Throw often the baggage of dead things and launch a new start and live.

Making a Change that Sticks: New Year’s Resolutions

Things Have Got to Change

Things Have Got to Change (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I stopped ascribing to New Year’s resolutions many moons ago. I, like many others, found out that midway through year or even the first month, excitement wanes, no one is paying attention to whether we are keeping them or not (they don’t want us looking at their failed resolutions either!), and suddenly change doesn’t seem so important (the extra 20 pounds you put on last year really aren’t that bad).
Instead of resolutions which, amount merely to a change in behavior I am going about my life a little differently now. I am convinced that the reason most resolutions don’t work is because we attempt to change behavior without changing attitudes. We want things to be different, but we still feel the same way about them. Now I’m not saying because you give up having chocolate fudge brownies every other day that now you should be repulsed at the sight of them. But as they say, your relationship with food has to change. No one gains 50 pounds overnight. But somewhere along the way you convinced yourself, whether consciously or subconsciously that keeping your temple in sound condition wasn’t as important as tending to other things in your life. Or somewhere, your spending got out of control because you were persuaded that you couldn’t possibly do without all those things now cluttering your basement and closet. Now at every year’s end you’re hell bent on getting out of debt by making the same resolution. And every year you fail.
But I propose that we change our spirit; I propose that we embrace the principles of God to love Him first, then ourselves, followed by others. We when are focused on living in this truth we began to reach for the tools that affect real change. We focus on changing our lifestyle so that we can be healthy and sound and whole enough to achieve our life’s purpose. We learn how to control our spending because living a broke life limits our ability to help others and keeps our focus on that dollar instead of on that which really matters. We renew our spirit, cleansing it from toxic thoughts, letting go of fear and hurts and all the stuff that eventually pours over into our souls—affecting our mind will and emotions. And lastly it shows up on our bodies.

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Yes, your spirit is the essence of you–the true you. And when it is in poor health, every aspect of you is affected. You will try to change from the outside in and it won’t take. Take a look on the inside and line it up with God’s Truth. No more pretending, no more faking it, no more comparing, just live in truth. In doing so you will find yourself slowly living out every resolution you’ve ever made.