A new year always excites me. I start off with feelings of purpose, desire to change, organization, wanting to do things better. And usually those things happen, for awhile. Then, life hits and slowly things begin to become chaotic, my resolve to be better at ________ wears down, and the planner goes untouched for weeks on end.
What happens? How can I so easily be thrown off course?
I don’t have any answers. But what I do know is that I don’t want to beat myself up about not following through with goals, ideas, resolutions, or whatever the new word is for these things that we set out to do in the beginning of a year. I just want each day to be a move in the direction of more Christ-likeness. Whatever that needs to look like.
It might mean that I do a better job with our budget. Or that I continue pushing myself to exercise and have self-control with my eating habits. Maybe I’ll make a list every week of obtainable goals to reach that will get done and crossed off the list. I could play more with my kids and be more intentional with loving my husband.
And these would be great accomplishments! But, I don’t want to focus so much on what I get done. I want my focus to be on Jesus and becoming more like Him; the doing will follow.
I guess this is why I like choosing a word instead of setting goals. A word sets a course for me that challenges me in lots of areas.
My word for 2015:: Wisdom.
I guess it pretty much covers everything. But that’s sort of how I feel right now. Like I need knowledge and wisdom just to do the day-to-day. We’re in the midst of a move (still waiting on finalizing a home), Bradley’s job is changing, school options will be different for us in the coming months, and we don’t know many people in our new town (as in no one). It’s a fresh start, which I love, but also unknown territory.
And so as I continue to move forward into this new year, I long to be a woman of wisdom. Not just the kind of wisdom that makes good decisions. I long for a God-given wisdom that will impact every single decision I make–the big and the small–to be more honoring to the Lord.
The great thing about wisdom? We’re told that God will give it to us, if we ask, in faith.
“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting…” James 1:6-7
I want wisdom, but it also means that I need to want more of God because I’m going to have to spend time asking God for wisdom and waiting for Him to give it. If I really want wisdom, my dependency on the Lord and communion with Him are going to grow. It’s a win-win.
I want to be wiser with our finances. I want to continue to make wise choices in my eating and exercising habits. Oh, the amount of wisdom needed to raise my children! Yes, to train them in the Lord, but also wisdom to know how to teach them about the ins and outs of daily life. I need wisdom to know how to better respect my husband, and how to be intentional about it while caring for four small children. We need wisdom in building relationships with people in our neighborhood, whatever church we attend, and others we come into contact with. I desire wisdom as I read God’s Word and seek to apply it to my life.
Growing in wisdom is likened to seeking for hidden treasure. If I knew that there was gold and silver treasure to be found, I wouldn’t give up on my search. Do I approach wisdom in the same way?
“My son, if you receive my words and treasure up my commandments with you, making your ear attentive to wisdom…if you seek it like silver and search for it as for hidden treasures, then you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God. For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding; he stores up sound wisdom for the upright…” Proverbs 2:1-7
Wisdom is there. And God will give it. Not only does God give it, but He stores it up. I love that!
My prayer this year is that God will grow me in wisdom. As with any growth we long for it most likely won’t be void of pain. There will be tough decisions along the way. I’m sure I’ll make mistakes. I’ll have to be purposeful in my pursuit, moment by moment begging God to grant me the wisdom I need to walk in a manner worthy of Him. But in the end? It will be worth it.
I love what the book of James has to say about wisdom in chapter 3:
“Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom…But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial, and sincere.” James 3:13-17
There’s a connection there between the wisdom that God gives and the conduct that will follow. This is the kind of wisdom I’m seeking. The wisdom from God that will alter both my response and my approach to life. Righteous wisdom will result in righteous living. And this pleases God.
Do you have a word for 2015 or goals that you’ve set?