Odds are, your 2019 resolutions have disappeared like a snowflake on warm day. My daughter told me the other day that the average lifespan of a New Year’s resolution is twelve days.
We are weak people, my friends. Notice I said ‘we’.
I saw a quote the other day that said:
2019 will officially begin on February 1; January is a free trial month.
Well, I’m not exactly sure what happened to January, but I’m ready to begin 2019 on February 1. January buried my part of the world in a quiet snow cocoon. We have a few feet of snow here in my snow chalet. Yep, I said feet.
Have you ever kept your New Year’s resolutions? Be honest.
Let me tell you a secret, I don’t do New Year’s resolutions.
It’s simple really. I don’t like to make promises that scare me. I don’t like to fail. So I just don’t do them. Does that make me a chicken? Or coward? Possibly.
I mean, why bother with a resolution at all? I’m just going to fail in a few weeks and then my year is off to a terrible start and it’s still only January, right?
(Get my free printable Mission 2019: Love God, Love People at the bottom of this post.)
We all want to start off the year with grand goals and expectations to be better. Healthier. Fitter. Kinder.
But, have you ever asked yourself, “Why even have these goals? What do they matter?” Especially when it seems like adding something else to your day just clutters it up even more.
I’m longing for a simpler life.
So, I entered into a quest to find out what the Bible said about goals and resolutions, and how such a resolution might help me simplify my life this year.
I needed a bigger picture. I needed larger scope to give me a ‘why?’.
If you are new around here, I come from a military family. Every unit my husband was assigned to over a 24-year career had a mission. A purpose.
On a bigger scale, the Air Force or Marines or Army or Navy each have their own missions, all different from each other. Each has a different purpose, a different reason for existing.
Within the Air Force, for example, each squadron, or unit, exists to perform its mission,
Every unit’s goals line up with its mission. Always. They don’t have assignments that have nothing to do with what the unit is there for. Its leadership is there to keep each unit on track to perform its mission in the most efficient and skillful way possible. BAD things happen when the unit swerves from its mission, including confusion and ineffectiveness.
The Bible speaks often about military similarities. There’s even a song about it, Onward Christian Soldiers related us as Christians to a military unit.
If we have a collective mission as Christians, then I needed to think about my life’s mission. What is it?
My mission gives me a ‘why’.
I looked up what the Bible says about my mission. Yep, Jesus was clear about what was and is important. I find it fascinating that people who lived in Biblical times also struggled with what they needed to focus on. (I wonder if they had New Year’s Resolutions.)
New Testament folks asked Jesus one day what was most important. (Remember Jews were daily trying to follow all the laws and rules found in Old Testament scripture.) I can imagine they were just plain tired from trying to follow all the Jewish rules and customs.
Can you relate? Are you also tired of meeting impossible expectations?
They wanted to know what was most important. He told them:
36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” 37 And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. ” Matthew 22: 36-39
There you go.
Love God. Love people.
My friends, this is our mission. It’s the same for all believers.
I love how Jesus gives our lives a simple purpose. And, I’m all about ‘simple’ this year.
My mission is clear. Love God.
What do I need to make this happen in greater ways than 2018. Make a plan for reading His word more? Getting more involved with my church or its ministries? Being more strategic in my prayer life? Take better care of the physical body He’s given me? Take better care of the resources He’s given me (my home or finances)?
My other mission is also clear. Love people.
How can I love my family more? How can I pray for them better? Can I plan better meals, or support them in a new and different way? How can I love my neighbors? How can I show them the Jesus that I know?
Here’s what I noticed in this simple exercise: Jesus didn’t give us the goal of focusing on ourselves. Resolutions tend to do that.
Joy doesn’t happen when we focus on ourselves. There’s no peace in ‘navel-gazing’. That’s where depression lives.
A mission, by its sheer definition, demands an outward focus.
Jesus gives all of us the same mission. But HOW we carry out this mission may be vastly different. He gifts us with passions and talents that provide the vehicles in which we carry out our mission. But it’s the mission itself that gives us purpose and clarity. It helps us see what’s important. It’s a filter. It’s a funnel. It shakes out our frivolous endeavors that take up time and money.
Love God. Love people.
What’s your plan?
(Get my free printable below to help you simplify your mission! Hang it up at your desk or on your fridge for a daily reminder.)