Wednesday, January 2, 2008

'NO" New Year's Resolutions

My cats pretty much have free reign over our humble abode except for a few restrictions – stay off my laptop, do not interrupt me during my morning quiet time, etc. Every morning, they insist on breaking each restriction.

Like Eve in the garden of Eden, the tendency is to focus on the few ‘no’s’ rather than enjoying the abundance of ‘yes’s’.

New Year’s Resolutions backfire as we focus so much on what we must not do that the ‘no’ becomes all we think about.

For over 20 years, I had a dominating, shameful stronghold that I could not seem to shake. It tarnished my daily life and was very incongruent with everything I believed and professed. An endless cycle would transpire as I’d manipulate and sabatoge relationships, hurting people to feed my sin. Thank God not only have I broken the patterns of destruction, I don’t even struggle with the temptation since I have laid it at the Cross.

Through this process, I’ve discovered some crucial steps to breaking bad behaviors:
1.Give it to God, telling Him I can’t do this alone and need His power to take away my desire for (fill in sin).
2.Trust He will take care of it, and do not worry. Get my mind on positive things (Phillipians 4:8)
3.Tell a fellow believer who will hold me accountable. Someone who does not struggle with the particular sin (Romans 14:13) so I can avoid being vague – thus, removing temptations to be dishonest by omitting pertinent details.
4.Have close friends pray for me in this area, confessing the area of sin without providing details (James 5:16). The purpose of sharing here is not to glorify or brag about sinful behavior, rather to give generalities so God can be glorified with my progress in breaking the stronghold.
5.Use the experience to show mercy and love to others. By admitting my struggles with sin, I am able to resist judging and condemning others, remembering not one of us is without sin (Romans 3:22-24).
6.Rather than focusing on what I cannot do, I strive to enjoy the freedom to experience the infinite ways He has blessed me. (Example: Instead of resolving not to stay in a destructive job longer than absolutely necessary, resolve to use all of my resources to finding a job that more consistently aligns with God’s will.)

May you draw on His strength to meet all of your ‘yes’ resolutions!

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