In the ‘New Year’, there is an incredible amount of discussion with others and internal dialogue that we engage in regarding what we are going to do new, different, or change in the next 365 days. Some of us come up with an exhaustive list of all of the ideas we want to implement, changes we want to make, and habits we want to form. What we do not do, however, is think about and discuss these goals, or resolutions, in a realistic way. We say phrases such as “I am going to lose 50 pounds this year” and “I am going to read a chapter of the Bible every day, or every week” or “I am not going to do such-and-such ever again.” What we do not realize is that we are setting ourselves up for failure – grand failure. We are either setting unrealistic goals for ourselves, or we are failing to plan out how exactly we are going to achieve these goals.
If we do indeed fail at achieving our goals initially or by a set period of time, many will simply drop the goal entirely for the entire year until the ‘new year’ comes around again. Thus, because we have failed to achieve our goal, we choose to ignore whatever it is we wanted to change for almost an entire year. We are quite literally choosing to make zero progress, to move forward no further, to sit idly by, and wait for nothing, essentially.
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Being Wrong, When You’re Right
There is an eternal desire, an insatiable desire, in all of us to matter, to be good at something, to succeed where we are most passionate, to have loving relationships, and to connect with and know our Lord and Savior. Whether you realize these passions and desires exist within us or not – they do indeed, and we must learn to navigate our lives with the constant competition that exists between them.
Each and every day, the majority of us will struggle to maintain some semblance of control in our day-to-day lives and have a difficult time relinquishing that control (even if we do not have it) as it may affect our passions and desires. We may be asked to complete a task or duty by a co-worker, our boss, an employee, or by God that we see to be contrary to and in direct competition with our passions, desires, and focus. Or, we could be in a conversation with a loved one, or anyone else for that matter, where ‘we know we are right’ and want to maintain control over the details and outcome of that conversation – important or not. Often, we seem to be far better at giving up control and ‘holding our tongues’ when it concerns those who have authority over us (our bosses, the police, government workers, etc.) to dramatically influence our immediate situation financially or otherwise. However, when it comes to our families, our parents, our spouses, and our Lord, we often fail to give up that same control and hold our tongues in a similar manner – especially when we believe, or think, that our position, knowledge, logic, or argument is greater than the other individual’s. We choose to believe that our pride and our thoughts are a holy grail that we dare not lose or surrender unless we can ‘see’ a reason, an incredibly powerful reason, as to why we should. In the case of our work, we will surrender our pride if it means that we can keep our job and provide for ourselves and our families. If it relates to the government and police, we will give up our pride and thoughts so long as we stay out of jail and maintain our freedom where, only on rare occasion, are we willing to compromise that freedom. However, we will hold onto our pride and thoughts with every fiber of our being in most other encounters – both natural and spiritual.
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