2012. Can you believe it?
We’re upon another new year and as such, it’s that time of the year where many are formulating their new year’s resolutions. During this time, I normally have a list of a few mental resolutions including one that involves my expanding waistline but that’s not the point of this post.
Instead, there’s 3 things I’m going to strive for in the upcoming year. I wish they were
easy easier to accomplish or easy to measure like losing 10 pounds, running 3 days per week, drinking more water, etc.
Rather, the 3 goals I have for my life in the upcoming year deal with some more painful and difficult issues.
Namely: my heart…
They are what I call ‘resolutions for the heart.’ So, here they are in all its depravity – exposed:
Hate Less. Love More.
So simple but so hard. I’m learning how it’s amazing how our views, judgments, and biases inform us in such a way that it has the dark capacity to nearly influence how we see a person, circumstance, and situation.
When you dislike someone, it doesn’t matter what “good” they do or intend…we’ll find a way to be critical. We’ll find the ugly. Ugly finds ugly.
How do I know this?
I look in the mirror and I see my personal depravity.
So, while we want to focus on the ‘ugly’ of others, the bigger issue is our own personal ugly which – when undealt with – will always find the ugly in others. You see…ugly find ugly.
Yup: Hate Less. Love More.
Bless. Bless. Bless.
One way I can hate less and love more is to really examine the way I engage with others – especially those with whom I have issue. In the name of being “friendly”, I find it certainly easy to appear friendly or generous but beyond appearance, the big gut-check question I want to have the courage to ask myself is this:
Do I really want ______ to be blessed?
And by “to be blessed”, I mean…
Do I really want to see _____ prosper in the Lord?
It’s not just merely a desire to bless others but I’ve come to learn that in wanting to truly bless and love others, it’s one of the manners by which God liberates us to experience the freedom we have in His grace.
Stop throwing stones.
In the upcoming year, I want to learn to stop throwing stones – not literally (of course) but metaphorically (and in my heart & mind). In our day and age, it’s become much easier (and accepted) to “Throw stones first. Ask questions later.”
Respect and civility seem to be a growing issue – not just in the public forum of politics but in our broader society – especially as it pertains to our engagement with whom we have disagreements. And without relationship, we can make judgments and borderline condemnations:
- If you don’t support homosexuality, you’re anti-gay.
- If you support gay rights, you’re anti-marriage.
- If you don’t support women in leadership, you’re anti-women.
- If you support women in leadership, you’re anti-Scriptures.
- If you don’t support the war in _________, you’re anti-American.
- If you do work in international development, you’re anti-domestic care.
- If you do work in local development, you anti-global.
- If you don’t support Eugene, you’re anti-Eugene.
I want to go on the record and declare that I’m anti your anti-________. Thus, I’ve neutralized your anti-ness. And I’m brilliant.
Seriously. We often live as people who are defined by what we are against and not necessarily, what we are for.
Can we agree? It’s hard to love your enemies when you can’t even hear what they’re saying… So, listen first. And don’t throw stones.
How about you?
What are your resolutions? Your spiritual pursuits?