by Buzz Dahlen
Honestly, this year, I didnít make really much of any New Yearís resolutions. Not that I donít need to make any changes in my life, but I just couldnít think of any changes that I could really cause myself to change. We are all capable of making changes, donít get me wrong, and again, I know I need to make some changes, and I am open to change. I just couldnít bring myself to making any of my needed changes official resolutions. For those of you who would like to see the needed changes take place in my life I write: P.B.P.G.I.N.F.W.M.Y.
What I really want to share with you this week is something that Sharon and I received in one of our Christmas cards. It is titled. ďA Thought From Derry.Ē Derry is a long time friend of our and although her thought came in the area of exchanging gifts, I think it is also an appropriate thought for a New Yearís resolution. Here it is I hope it encourages you as much as it encouraged me.
Ö I feel compelled to write to you this day, something of deep conviction in my heart. I found myself in a circumstance of financial difficulty this season and asking the Lord what I could do or give to those I love. This is, to the best of my ability, an explanation of what God put on my heart.
It came to me that instead of exchanging gifts or tasks this season that we could exchange forgiveness, freedom of expectations, of disappointments, and memories of failures. That we could totally let go of these things and embrace a freedom that God extends to us each and every day, yet we dole it out so greedily. That if only for a season we could unlock the shackles we have bound one another with and set them free. The following morning, I awoke to situations of hurt and disappointment, my heart was flooded with the reminders of the past. I realized the enormity, importance and great need of forgiveness in all of our lives. Its power is overwhelming. I ran to the Fatherís feet and asked for strength to love freely and completely. To be able to look at our spouses, our children, our mothers, our fathers, and not see their failures or their successes, but to see who God created. A gift given to us, maybe only for a moment, maybe a year, maybe a life time, but a gift indeed, to be cherished and loved, to be encouraged and uplifted, and to be forgiven and set free. That this season, we can love one another to Godís full capacity and maybe this freedom will be so intoxicating we will thirst for it all yearÖ The rest was personal, but you get the idea.
What would happen if, this year, we resolved to forgive? What would happen if we resolved to free others from our expectations of them? What would happen if we resolved to give up the memories of past failures? Wouldnít these make wonderful, obtainable, New Yearís resolutions?
Paul wrote: Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you. Ephesians 4:31-32 KJV
We all fail and fall short. We have all made mistakes and have disappointed others, we are all imperfect and in need of change. But God still resolved to; love us; allow His Son to die for us; and forgave us. Godís expectations of us are based on what is best for us and He never holds on to the memories of our failures. We should make the resolution to do the same. If we do, this will be the best year for everyone.
By the way, P.B.P.G.I.N.F.W.M.Y. means: Please be patient, God is not finished with me yet. Ö I pray that the freedom of Christ will reign in our lives and we will love one another as God intended. The Lord bless you in this New Year!