David Brooks ends the year in his columns with what he calls the “Sidney Awards.” He goes over long form essays and picks significant reads that stood out to him. This particular column stopped me cold from the start. It is a need I’ve felt for quite some time and realize I need to implement. Continue reading “Change. Immediate. Now.”
Two key questions that come up for me when I am trying to walk in a discipline:
1. What keeps me FROM this?
2. What drives me TO this?
The first question is ready because it brings guilt. “I know I’m supposed to study the Word, but…” We can come up with reasons: “I can’t get my alarm to work. I can’t wake up with my alarm. I get too busy.” We all know the drill.
The second question is harder to ask, but I have found it more helpful because it goes to motivation. It is about passion.
When I sit and think about a discipline, say the study of the Word, and think about what really has drawn me in before… I remember the passion. I remember the excitement. The love is stirred up once again.
We do need to identify what keeps us FROM a discipline. We simply need the obstacles out of the way.
But we do need to stir up original passions as well. We need to have those underlying passions drive us TO spiritual formation so that “first love” mentality keeps us in the practices we so desperately need.
New year. New “resolutions.”
One key thought in making “resolutions” or goals is this: What gets put on a calendar gets done. That isn’t a hard and fast rule, but if you put it on the calendar, you make the commitment.
I have to THINK about what is on my calendar.
This new year has given me the goal of finally getting my body in shape. I have to plan. There were steps to take to get a gym membership and have that level of accountability in my life. I know what level of accountability keeps me on track.
Then, it’s a matter of getting it on the calendar.
THE QUESTION: How do you “get things done?” What helps you?
One of the backward ideas we seem to have is that God doesn’t “punish” his people because he looooovvvvves them.
As if discipline isn’t love.
He finally had to bring Judah down to get their attention. It was harsh. It was brutal. Yet, it was not out of God’s fierce anger for revenge. It was out of his heart to get them back home.
And they would learn:
18 I hear, yes, I hear Ephraim lamenting:
“You disciplined me,
and I learned my lesson,
even though I was as stubborn as a mule.
Bring me back, let me return,
because you are the Lord my God.
19 After I turned away from you,
I regretted it;
I realized what I had done,
and I have hit myself—
I was humiliated and disgraced,
and I have carried this disgrace
since I was young.” (Jer. 31:18=19, CEB)
“I have hit myself…”
Remember that old Skin Bracer commercial?
Too often we think God dealing with us is some sort of “child abuse,” so we think it’s someone else’s fault. It’s not someone else’s fault. God had to deliver the discipline. And it’s not HIS fault, either. If we’ve strayed off, it’s our fault.