How To Pick New Year’s Values
How to pick New Year’s Values isn’t as tough as you think. This year let’s resolve together not to feel like a failure. There is plenty of time to change, fix, or give attention to those things in which we feel frustrated.
So why is it that so many people--including myself--have a hard time keeping New Year’s Resolutions?
Maybe it’s because resolutions don’t carry enough weight as a goal. Maybe it’s because it’s not realistic. For instance--you want to lose 30-50 pounds but neglect to join a gym for lack of finances or motivation. Or you want to eat healthier but gorge yourself on all holiday treats.
As we turn the page in the calendar to start another year fresh--I challenge you (and me) to think of the New Year in terms of value. It’s pretty easy, actually.
Ask yourself the question--what do I value most?
The first and best place to look for advice for answering this question is Jesus. He said,
“Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light” (Matthew 11:28-30, NLT).
Ask yourself three questions. Do you value work, school, a particular hobby, or relationship(s)? Is there an area of your life that’s good but not great? How about a weakness that you’re tired of carrying around? But before you answer, pray and decide in your heart to give both weakness and strength over to Him.
Ask Jesus first. He will help you decide what you should value most this year.
Six years ago I desperately needed to take inventory of my life. I was done feeling like a failure--so I choose a few values I knew needed the most work and decided to take the whole New Year’s learning to live them out. I switched the word Resolution for the words: Life Map--and the verse I choose as my map key was Proverbs 4:25-27, NLT:
Look straight ahead, and fix your eyes on what lies before you. Mark out a straight path for your feet; stay on the safe path. Don’t get sidetracked; keep your feet from following evil.
I bet you and I have something in common. We’re tirelessly working, but accomplishing very little. That’s why the New Year ushers in both excitement and fear. That’s why we need extra help. We need a guide.
Christ, Our Authority
Christ knows we have a terrible time sticking to what we value most over what comes easy. We need His help to transform from sinner to saint because He is the only person who crossed over from death to life is Jesus Christ--and that same power is made available to us today!
But what happens when we’re not ready to take the risk?
We know what to do but we just can’t make ourselves change?
My favorite passage of Scripture for convicting me when I stray is found in Matthew 21:23-27 Mark 11:27-32, and Luke 20:1-8 I think Jesus knows how much we wonder from the truth--that’s why He mentions the story three times in the Gospels. I encourage you to read all three.
If you are not willing to answer Jesus from the heart, and instead treat him like a Pharisee--then it says, “neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things (Matthew 21:27b, NIV84).
May Christ never call you or I a hypocrite in the New Year. May be recognize that He alone has the power to guide and give us the authority and power to change.
How To Pick New Year’s Values
It’s okay if you’re not sure which words you want to pick as your values. Maybe you need to work on patience but there’s no way you’ll ever pick that as your value so instead you choose: hope.
When I started picking values--I had absolutely zero idea what I wanted to do with my life.
I was in my mid 20’s with no career, no spouse in sight, and no money. I knew I wanted to change the world and I had ideas--but like all of us find our sooner than later--resolutions don’t work.
My friend and author Ava Pennington writes in her devotional “One Year Alone With God,”
“God’s Word reminds us that success does not depend on having a different set of values and standards for the various parts of our lives. If we are His children, we will live by His standards and His guidance in every area of life, regardless of the day or the location. When we acknowledge Him, He will straighten all the crooked places of our lives.”
When I gave God all of me--not just my career or relationships--He blessed me.
He gave me the strength to value what He valued. The more I focused on my relationship with Him and dedicated the entire year to a set of values--the more I saw God in everything not just what I wanted so desperately and prayed so hard for.
Be encouraged friends.
We have no idea how much God wants to bless us until we bring Him into every area of our lives. Next year, I am picking “Encounter” and “Serve” as my two values. I just have this feeling that I will encounter God as I serve others.
Question: What New Year’s Values are you or have you picked for 2013?
Renee Fisher aka the Devotional Diva® is a spirited speaker and the author of Faithbook of Jesus, Not Another Dating Book, and Forgiving Others Forgiving Me (Harvest House, 2013). Renee loves her engineering husband and their rescued pit bull Rock Star. She writes at http://www.devotionaldiva.com.