As we come up on the time for New Year’s Resolutions, many people will be reviewing their year and deciding how they want to change in 2012.
As I process how I intend to live in 2012 differently than I lived in 2011 – there is a tension between what I wish were true and what I know to be true.
What I wish were true is that by just thinking about becoming a better, more generous, more thoughtful person I could become that person. That there’s no painstaking habit change involved.
What I wish were true is that the demands of money and the demands of God could be balanced – that I could become rich without letting it become my master.
What I wish were true is that love is some sort of delightful, bubbly feeling instead of deliberate, often painful actions to put someone else before myself.
What I wish were true is that gaining power or prestige would not endanger my soul.
What I wish were true is that God hasn’t given me weighty responsibilities. That the verse “to whom much is given, much will be required” was just a pithy saying that doesn’t need to impact how I live on a daily basis.
What I wish were true is that we could really just all do our own thing without submitting anything to anyone without consequence.
What I wish were true is that my desire for revenge or for someone to “get theirs” is some sort of righteous desire to see evil punished instead of a selfish need to see someone hurt as much as they have hurt me.
But, actually, I know it’s true that I cannot serve both God & money.
I know it’s true that love is an act of self-denial and self-sacrifice and that means pain.
I know it’s true that the meek and the weak inherit the earth – not the powerful or the prestigious.
I know it’s true that God will ask me one day what I’ve done with all the things He’s given me and I will have to answer for it.
I know it’s true that I’m insubordinate and selfish. That I often desire revenge for vengeance’s sake. That none of that will change without a constant examining by the Holy Spirit and a habit of repentance.
The question becomes – will I live in 2012 by what I know is true or will I live by what I wish were true?