Monday, January 01, 2007

The Common Denominator

Like others that I've read, I'm not big on "resolutions." Maybe it's because over the years, I have discovered how my New Year's Resolutions have not been very, well, resolute. But is that the fault of the resolutions, or me? Here's the definition of resolution:

-a resolve or determination: to make a firm resolution to do something.
-the act of resolving or determining upon an action or course of action, method, procedure, etc.
-the mental state or quality of being resolved or resolute; firmness of purpose.

Okay, if that doesn't work for me, then what do I do instead... set goals?

Goal -the result or achievement toward which effort is directed; aim; end.

The reason I hesitate to make resolutions, or even set certain goals for myself is because immediately my mind is inundated with past failures and I feel condemnation. As I enter a new year, I am choosing to say "no" to such condemnation, since the source is NOT my Heavenly Father. As I've been "meditating" upon my goals, and even my resolutions for 2007 I believe the Lord has lead me to the overarching goal, the key to any success I will experience in any God-given goals or even [gasp!] resolutions I may make this year: self-control.

Calvin Miller says, "To control the self it to offer Christ a soul free of any other master. To control the self is to stand beyond the soft life and to offer God the studied life. It is to say no to our appetites because we have "food to eat that [those who don't know Christ] know nothing about." (John 4:32) It is to pour out the wine of our addictions because the water of life in Christ is better nectar."

That's it for me in 2007. Self-control. There are many other goals, but they will all be the fruit of self control. But I believe God has shown me through His Word how to boil it down even more, because "self control" itself is a broad goal. As I've been praying through Scripture in the past week, no matter what my readings have been, I have ended up in one place: James 3. The key to self control, I firmly believe, lies in taking control of what I say.

James 3:2 says, "We all stumble in many ways. If anyone is never at fault in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to keep his whole body in check." That blew me away last week when I meditated on it. There is a direct link between keeping your mouth in check and your whole body being disciplined. Verse 3 goes on to say"When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal." I have got to "turn the whole animal" this year. I've got to make some changes. I believe that it hinges on self control but begins with the tongue. By God's grace in 2007, He will transform my speech and my words into something that is glorifying to Him and edifying to others, benefitting "those who listen." (Eph. 4:29) Unless this happens, my goals and resolutions will have been made in vain.

My specific goals and yes, even resolutions, are still taking shape. So I'm sure I'll blog about them more specifically in the weeks and months to come. God has put in my heart to believe Him for some BIG things this year. My husband and I have had some exciting discussions lately about our 2007, some that have still got my mind spinning. God is up to something huge in our family, I'm sure of it! But the journey from "soft life" to "studied life" must begin with self-control and will be evident in my words.

Now to Him Who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen." Eph. 3:20

For more New Year's Meditations, follow the links over at Laurel's. Thanks, Laurel!


Laurel Wreath said...

Amen. Girl your pricked my heart on the quote "To control the self it to offer Christ a soul free of any other master." Oh I love that.

And self control is one of the most difficult but most rewarding.

I too am excited to hear what God has in store for you this next year. I will be looking forward to hear more about it.

I am so thankful the Lord has brought you into my life this year.

Happy New Year.

Lindsey @ Enjoythejourney said...

You said:

God is up to something huge in our family, I'm sure of it! But the journey from "soft life" to "studied life" must begin with self-control and will be evident in my words.

I LIKE THIS! True indeed. May our journey with Christ in 2007 be the best wild ride ever! :)

Linda said...

This is such a beautifully articulated post Cyndi. I have found such wisdom in your writing. Certainly I need more self-control in my speech and in listening. Thank you so much for this wonderful insight.

ChupieandJ'smama said...

I think Self Control flows throughout all of my goals for my journey through 2007. May God bless you and your family in the upcoming year,and I look forward to reading about all of the plans that God has in store for you. Have a blessed New Year!

Morning Glory said...

I found you through Linda at Middle Years and I've enjoyed reading back through your blog. You have wonderful perspective and insight. I hope to be back.

Erna said...

I really appreciated your sharing on self-control. To bridle the whole body is a good goal and God can surely give the grace that is needed to achieve self-control. We can do nothing apart from Him.

I love how the Lord often directs our attention to specific passages because He longs to allow His fruit to be evident in our lives. Lately, I've been thinking a lot about obedience and that also ties in with self-control. Blessings to you. May God indeed bless your family in a BIG way in 2007!

Happy New Year!

Anonymous said...

"God is up to something huge!" Don't you just love it when the Spirit resides in you, in your household, and your Beloved enough that you can FEEL it?!!

God is good, and I feel that for alot of believers it is a year of breaking free. Breaking free of "other masters".... it is also one of my own heart cries.

Blessings to you and your family...may we encourage each other in the name of Christ!!

Kim said...

Self control in speech is what I call a biggie! I desire to have sweet and gracious speech to my husband and seems to be easy to have kind and gracious speech to home I have to always be on guard to control my speech.

I really liked your post and enjoyed learning more about you.


Jane said...

A lovely post. I have asked for patience, maybe self control is the same thing. Lots to think about here. Happy 2007!

janiswrites said...

Okay, my teeth actually clenched when you mentioned "self-control." This is a big issue for me as well. I am so excited to see what God can do in my life when I exercise self-control and self-discipline and now I am excited for you as well!

Thanks for sharing! It means so much to know that there are other moms and women who are in the same place as me! Happy New Year!

MiPa said...

Wow! That is beautifully said. We all need to develop more of the fruit of self-control, don't we. Thank you for the encouragement.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your encouraging comments on my blog the other day! Hope you don't mind but I also borrowed one of your Works for Me ideas some time back
I am looking forward to stopping by again!!

Chris said...

Self control is huge for me. I love the verse in Proverbs that says, " a man without self-control is like a city without walls", which meant no protection from their enemies.

Thanks for stopping by my blog.

Blessings in 2007

Heather said...

Wow, good goal. Self control. Need to work on that one. Have a blessed new year.