New Year’s resolutions have, at their foundations, an acknowledgment that all is not as it should be. On a national level, we would do well to resolve to live with civility toward one another even if we cannot agree on much. Such a commitment admits to a broken situation that includes some pretty intense incivility. On a personal level, our end of year reflections and beginning of year determinations involve a self assessment of how things could and should be different.
We rarely think about it, but the realization that things are not measuring up comes with an understanding that there is a standard to be measured against. Human beings have this deep seeded sense that we are not all that we were designed to be. We cannot always put our finger on it, but at the gut level we know that the lives we are living were intended to be so much more. We long to be who we were created to be.
Therefore, on an annual basis, we commit to moving in that direction. In some ways we want more of us….more commitment, more exercise, more focus, more time in prayer, etc. In some ways our desire is for less of us….less brokenness, less ego/me centeredness, less waistline, and less distraction.
The Bible describes how that Lord wants to make more and less of us. Thankfully, He set the standard and He works in us toward it. He knows all that He created us to be and He knows all of the ways that sin has impacted us. He provides an incredible promise in the Scripture that we can hold onto as our deep assurance. “For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will be faithful to complete it, until the day of Christ Jesus.” (Phil 1:6) We have found our hope…..the One who began the good work in us (our salvation) will be faithful to complete it (our transformation/restoration).
Praise God that He promises to complete what He began in us.
As parents it is essential for us to understand that our children are a “work” in process. We desire for them to be fully mature in so many areas but that is not realistic. Sometimes we forget that we, too, are works in process and still lack full maturing in many ways. We must seek the Lord for right expectations for our children, for words of life and encouragement along the way, and for appropriate consequences that will help guide them toward Jesus. Remember the key is a focus on who they are becoming and not just how they are behaving.
Todd R. Marrah, Ph.D.