I have been reading all over the web about a new kind of New Year's Resolutions, it's only one word. While I prefer to have many resolutions...more to break you know, I like this idea of just one word. The one word should define the type of year you want to have, and the way you want to live out this year.
In many ways I chose a word to help me through the last few years: Love. It began in 2011 after listening to Molly Barker at a conference. Through several mind exercises she encouraged us to choose just one word for us and I chose love. I decided then to work toward several things:
- Learn more about how God loves us
- Learn to love others more passionately and unconditionally
- Learn to love myself
And yet we are taught to love others as God first loved us. We aren't meant to love others because they have earned our love. Loving others shouldn't be based on merit. That is a tough lesson to learn. Isn't it just easier to love the ones who are nicest to you?
Loving myself also doesn't come naturally. But if God can love even me, shouldn't I respect that and love myself too?
So thus began a journey of learning to love. Not the type of love that made me fall for my husband, but the type of love that keeps our marriage alive and strong even when things aren't going great (which doesn't happen very often). Not the type of love that brings like-minded friends into my life, but the type of love that has me reaching out and searching for those who need to be loved. What I mean is that in some cases it is very easy to love, but in others it is really difficult, and that was the type of love I was working on. The type of love that requires you to forgive easily, release grudges and pour out yourself even when you feel like you are getting nothing in return. That love is hard.
As long as I can remember I have sinned by holding onto anger. When I am disappointed I respond in anger and then build up walls and hold grudges. I want to remove this sin from my life and these last few weeks I have noticed a new trend. When I am disappointed or brought to anger, I recover much more quickly. Even apologizing if I speak out of anger. In the past it would take me days, or longer to forgive, and now I am forgiving immediately. My heart no longer feels heavy with anger and I am willing to let go of little disappointments. Only by the grace of God is this possible.
I have learned valuable lessons over the course of several years about love. So it is only fitting that I move ahead and continue to change my life and myself. I want to choose a new word. Something new I can focus on and learn about. And I choose grace. After all, it is by God's grace that I am able to love and be loved.
I talked above about being disappointed, building walls and holding grudges. Through love I am able to hurtle these challenges and overcome them much quicker. But through grace I can prevent disappointment and anger from starting altogether. God's grace forgives me immediately when I sin. It is through His grace that I was forgiven through Christ Jesus even before I sinned. Shouldn't I also extend that grace to others in my life?
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God-- Ephesians 2:8
Are you making New Year's Resolutions? Have you Heard of the just one word resolution? What word do you choose?