The new year is quickly approaching. Our culture tends to look to a new year as a time to change habits, weight, relationships, and so much more. Self improvement is good as long as the incentive to change comes from a spiritually healthy place.
Before you decide to exercise more, eat less or differently, use a planner, etc., I suggest that you consider your motivation. Are you making these decisions based on comparison to others? Do you feel the need to change because you do not measure up to some expectation from the world or from others in your life? Have you judged yourself to be “less than” and therefore are striving to be enough?
Any motivation that says you are not enough or is based on comparison, expectations of others, or unworthiness is rooted in the wrong soil and will not bear fruit. I am asking you to check and perhaps shift your mindset about the changes you desire. The truth of the Gospel is God loves you just the way you are.
Nothing you can say or do will change the immeasurable, unshakeable love He has for you. You are perfectly and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14). The Lord created you and said, “It is very good” (Genesis 1:31). You were created with a purpose in mind; God formed you to fulfill that purpose. Before you move forward with your New Year’s resolutions, I invite you to sit with the Lord and delve deeper into His love for you as you work through the second half of the exercise I shared last week.
This second question has also been life-changing. It is often named the favorite exercise in my conferences and my book especially by mature Christians who have never given it any thought.
I invite you to sit with the Lord and ask Him what He was thinking when He formed you. Psalm 34:4 says, “I sought the LORD, and He answered me, And delivered me from all my fears.” Trust that the Lord longs to share His heart with you. Not only will He answer you, He promises to take away your fear. In other words, try it, what do you have to lose? The answer is the only thing you have to lose is fear. That’s good news!
Soaring With God
Give yourself plenty of quiet time. Have your journal open and be ready to write. Ask the Lord the following question and record what you hear in your thoughts and spirit.
“Lord, Psalm 139:13 says ‘For you formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb.’
Father, Jesus, Holy Spirit, what were you thinking when You formed me in my mother’s womb?”
You are never too young or too old to ask this question. As your life unfolds, the Lord reveals more about who He created you to be and what He created you to do. That’s the adventure of life.
In conclusion, I want to say a word about self-improvement and resolutions. Spiritually self improvement is called sanctification and is an important part of working out your salvation daily. It is godly to hone your skills and do the work that the Lord asks of you. I am specifically suggesting that you check your mindset by asking the Lord about the spiritual motivation behind your resolution to change.
Change rooted in God’s love and reflected in self-acceptance and love, will bear much fruit. The Lord loves you just the way you are. Shift your mindset from the world’s view and align with to God’s love. Allow Him alone to be your source of validation. As you soar into a greater understanding of who God created you to be and what He created you to do, you soar into knowing you are enough.
You are enough because His love is enough.
©2020 Deborah Gall
Artwork: :”Shifting Moods” ©2012 Deborah Gall. Artist Collection. Available.