Should repentance come before making a resolution?
This morning I sat down with a cup of coffee and my bible, and with a blog post rolling around in my head. I just couldn't wait to share with all of you my new years' resolution. I tried to quiet my thoughts, and then opened the bible to meet with God.
Reading the bible is something like reading a story and realizing halfway through that it was written for you. There are moments that happen when the thin pages are open, smelling like print and ink. Though they don't happen every day, there are moments where I read just a few words, and I'm humbled and awed that God is present, aware of my circumstances, and is speaking directly to me.
That kind of moment happened this morning.
Last year I made a lot of resolutions. 2012 was full of change, and in a lot of ways, it all made me very narcissistic. And the beginning of a new year can make you ask all those same self-centered questions. What do I want out of this year? What do I need? How can I make MY life better for ME... RIGHT NOW?
The world around us says, "Hey! You want to make a change in 2013? Great! Make a resolution. Be better. Be faster, stronger, happier, wealthier...whatever-er. Commit to it. YOU CAN DO IT."
This morning, I planned on sitting down and telling you all about how I was going to make myself better in 2013. But God's word stopped me in my tracks.
Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord. Acts 3:19
"Times of refreshing." Oh that sounds so nice. Isn't that what we want? A year of refreshment, change, and newness? That kind of rejuvenation can't come from my commitment, my drive, or my determination. It can't come from me at all. No.
Times of refreshing come from the Lord, through repentance, not resolution.
So here it is. My New Year's Repentance. What's yours?
Father, I repent of all the ways I've been selfish in the past year.So often I've been occupied with my thoughts, my cares, my money, my concerns. Please turn my thoughts toward others, my stinginess to generosity, and my concerns to compassion. Wipe out my sin and bring the times of refreshing that you promise. Amen.
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