So, I’m working through a goal-setting course this week in preparation for accomplishing EVERYTHING I always wanted to accomplish. Hah! Yeah… right. Again, the fear side of me says that this will be like any other year, and the “real me” will come out at some point and wreck the whole thing. He’ll has his whole merry band of friends with him. Fear, Sloth… even Approval-Seeker will be there. Of course, my favorites, Self-Condemner. Yes, they’ll all be there. Of course, they’ll throw a big “Breaking Bad” party and remind me that I’ll never move past these hurdles in my life. I may as well go back to the bad habits and addictive behaviors that have dragged me down for so long. That I shouldn’t waste my effort with goal-setting or pursuit of something greater. I’ll never be the Warrior for Christ I long to be. I’ll never be the Prince my wife wishes I were. I’ll never be the Fearless Leader my kids need to help them navigate this world. And I’ll never be the Successful Leader my company is waiting for me to become.
Yes, these are the voices in my head that tell me who I am… Reminds me of that song by Matthew West, “Hello My Name Is“. Oh, how I relate to these lyrics. And THAT is what I’m going to cling to and remind myself of every day of 2014 (or at least every day I remember – Hey… I’m not perfect). When I start to hear those lies that so easily get into my head, this year I’m going to do something different. I’m going to speak the truth to myself. I’m going to remind myself who I am in Christ.
(Special thanks to Pam for her blog from which I borrowed this image. This is a great article on the topic of Who I Am In Christ.)
In conjunction with this, I am thinking about a “theme verse” for 2014. Now, to sum up my life for the next 365 days with one or more verses seems next to impossible. That’s not my aim. It is more to give a direction… a compass needle of sorts… so that I can be reminded of what God may be doing in me this year. Have you ever had one of those moments when you read something… a line in a book, a quote in an e-mail, or even a line out of a movie? And you read or hear it, and it stands out to you with such clarity that you just have to stop and re-read (or re-hear) to make sure you get it. That is what happened with me last night reading 2 Corinthians 4. I started by looking at verse 7, as God put the thought of “treasures in jars of clay” in my mind. But I ended up reading the entire chapter, and what stuck out to me is this truth:
I must not lose heart. Many things around me will lead me to believe failure is inevitable and that this world is filled with sadness and disappointment. For what I cannot see that is going on far outweighs what I do see. So, I should look to the “unseen” (God’s activity).
This is all coming from 2 Corinthians 4:16-18. So, I think I’ll land on that with my 2014 verses.
What things do you need to remind yourself of this year? What will be the theme of your year? Though we could never predict what will happen, we can certainly dedicate ourselves to living our lives in such a way that whatever comes, we can withstand it with grace and courage.