I’ve been contemplating my goals for the new year since it began. I’m not one to make rash decisions in the heat of the midnight moment. I like to avoid making overambitious commitments, like, “This year: I’ll only cook local and organic food, and run in every marathon I can find.” Yeah…not gonna happen. It’s not that I don’t want to grow, I just want to be realistic in the goals that I set.
I regularly get a newsletter emailed to me from Shepherd Press, and the one they sent at the beginning of the year was (as usual) filled with sound, biblical insight. Check this out:
New Year’s Day–it is supposed to be a time of new beginnings. It is marked by celebrations, parties, football, and resolutions–and for some, hangovers. Culturally, compared to Christmas, New Year’s Day is also less stressful. One does not hear declarations of “Keep Christ in the New Year” bandied about on talk shows. No one speaks of New Year’s Day as a religious holiday. However, for most people New Year’s Day is a deeply religious holiday. It is the holiday of self-worship. It is a day when people believe that if they make specific resolutions and determine to turn over a new leaf, they can change the things about themselves that they don’t like. It is a day on which people believe (or perhaps just hope) that they can change by simply wanting to. But like all other false religions, the worship of self and self-will results in disappointment. In reality, New Year’s Day is a day like any other–it is a day to serve God or to serve self.
You can read the whole article here. I so appreciate that they didn’t try to sugar coat anything. When you boil it down, changing your life for your sake really comes down to self-worship, arguably the Great Religion of our day. When you worship yourself you seek your own glory, you don’t seek to glorify God. We hear it everywhere we turn,
“Because you’re worth it.”
“Just believe in yourself.”
“You have to take care of yourself before you can take care of everyone else.”
If you are your god then then your own glorification is your ultimate goal.
If you are in Christ, you know that you are worthless and Jesus is the only one who is worthy. You put your trust in Jesus because he is trustworthy and you are deceitful. You count others more important than yourself and serve them humbly as you follow the example of our Servant King Jesus.
Whether we are doing something that most would consider ministry, like serving at a soup kitchen, or we are scrubbing toilets at home wondering what in the world we are possibly going to get on the table for supper – again, any and every situation is one where we will give God our ourselves glory.
When we do things for God’s glory, we often won’t look any different than the next person. Like if you go to the gym and you’re about to fall off the stationary bike from exhaustion just like the girl next to you. Someone getting fit for God’s glory looks as dead tired as someone doing it for their own glory. God knows our hearts.
If your goal is to get out of debt, it should be the glory of God, not you.
If your goal is to cook healthy meals, it should be to the glory of God, not you.
If your goal is weight loss, it should be to the glory of God, not you. It’s important to take care of our bodies, not because we’re so great, but because the one who created us is. If you are in Christ your body is a temporary temple of the Holy Spirit. Cleaning up God’s residence sounds like a good idea.
I want any goals I have for the future to be ones that seek God’s glory, not mine.
My goals for 2010:
Train for and run in a 5K race
Stick to the budget Clay and I made
Find and cook more budget friendly meals
Continue and complete my 365 photo project
Everything we do is an opportunity to make much of our Savior, or much of ourselves. What will you do to bring Jesus glory this year?