It’s that time of year again. Time to look back on 2014 and look ahead to 2015 and remember. Reflect. Set goals. New Year’s resolutions and all that. Right before Christmas, Alli decided she wanted to help me bake, so she was measuring out all of the dry ingredients and making a bit of a mess. Which is fine…I’m a messy baker myself. But then she said something that made me pause. She looked at the flour and sugar and cocoa powder all over the table and said, “I’m a terrible baker. I should just let you finish.” She started to….
It’s that time of year again. Time to look back on 2014 and look ahead to 2015 and remember. Reflect. Set goals. New Year’s resolutions and all that.
Right before Christmas, Alli decided she wanted to help me bake, so she was measuring out all of the dry ingredients and making a bit of a mess. Which is fine…I’m a messy baker myself.
But then she said something that made me pause. She looked at the flour and sugar and cocoa powder all over the table and said, “I’m a terrible baker. I should just let you finish.”
She started to feel bad about herself for not being perfect and it made her want to quit.
I answered right back, “Well, if your goal is to never get anything on the table while you bake, then yes. You’re a terrible baker. But, if your goal is to bake yummy sweets, then spilling on the table is a non-issue. You are a great baker!”
We wiped off the table. She helped me finish the cookies, and they were amazing!
And I realized just how easy it is to do that. To feel bad about yourself and quit when you don’t meet your own expectations of what it should be…no matter how unrealistic they are.
I do it myself. I am currently on November 1st in my One Year Bible. It’s December 29th. I’m not just a few days off. I’m almost two whole months behind.
So I started rushing through so I could finish. I wasn’t getting anything out of it. I didn’t remember anything I read. All I could think was, “I have to finish!”
Which, if my goal is just to read each word in the Bible in one year, that’s a good thing I guess. Finish it. Hurry up. Speed read. But what’s the point? Just to say I did it?
But if my goal is to get to know Him better every day. To fill myself with life. To see myself in the Word. To learn all about my Father and Jesus, then hurrying to finish is a terrible idea.
I’d rather read through the Bible in 14 months than hurry to finish and not get anything out of it.
I just needed to ask myself, “What’s the goal?”
If we really sat down and thought about it, I think we’d see we do this a lot.
With diet and exercise. “Well. I was never going to eat sweets again and I ate a cookie on day 1. Might as well eat the pizza and chocolate cake too.”
With journaling. “Well, I was gonna journal every single day. I made it three days into 2015. And now I’ve missed a whole week. I thought this year would be different. Oh well. I’ll try again next year.”
With being Christ-like. “Ugh. I wasn’t going to lose my temper this year, and it’s January 3rd and I’ve lost it big time. Why do I even try? I guess I’ll always be like this.”
We set unrealistic goals and then get mad at ourselves for being human. Less than perfect. We get mad it takes time to change old habits.
We set ourselves up for failure with unrealistic goals.
It’s better to set a goal of eating healthier than for someone addicted to sweets to say they’re never eating another sweet thing again as long as they live.
Why is it necessary to journal every day? Why not just journal when something stands out to you? When He shows you something? Why the pressure?
We should want to be more Christ-like. But to think we’re ever going to be perfect while we’re in these flesh and blood bodies is completely unrealistic. We’re still going to get edgy. Lose our tempers. Not walk in love. Mess up.
Do I want to get better? Yes. Do I want to get stronger in my weak areas? Of course.
But we need to remember we are human. And not quit when we aren’t perfect. We’ll get there with His help. I’m so thankful for Hebrews 4:16, aren’t you? And Philippians 3:12-14:
I’m not there yet, nor have I become perfect; but I am charging on to gain anything and everything the Anointed One, Jesus, has in store for me—and nothing will stand in my way because He has grabbed me and won’t let me go. Brothers and sisters, as I said, I know I have not arrived; but there’s one thing I am doing: I’m leaving my old life behind, putting everything on the line for this mission. I am sprinting toward the only goal that counts: to cross the line, to win the prize, and to hear God’s call to resurrection life found exclusively in Jesus the Anointed.
Let’s be determined to not give up this year because we aren’t perfect right out of the gate. Let’s press on. Press forward. And keep running towards the goal. I think we’ll be surprised at this time next year just how different we are if we do.