Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Treasure and New Years Resolutions

This year I'm going to change______________
You fill in the blank. Millions of people around the globe muster up their determination at the start of the New Year with the intent to change... something.
Some decide to back off on the brownies...

Others decide to write more... (Stole yours, Savanna, sorry!)

Still others decide to pinch their pennies...

    The list could go on and on. Spend more time with the family, talk less (one of mine!!!), read the Bible more, pray more, deliever the brownies that you're trying not to eat the neighbors instead, work out more, bake more, etc, etc, ETC! I think we humans like the idea of improving ourselves. There is something empowering about being our own "handy man." If you see something that needs worked on, do it yourself! Fix yourself up, and you're bound to feel better about yourself. This year's gonna be different.

     Have you ever thought this way? It could be it's just me, (that would not be a first) but I LOVE the concept of improving myself. If I can just work a little harder, get a little thinner, a little nicer, a little sweeter, ... maybe then I can feel better about myself. I can walk outta that house with confidence! In fact, I like the idea of resolutions so much, I find myself making new ones every day. I'm pretty good about finding problems with myself, and I do my best to fix them. Do you know how many times I've made a "resolution" to keep a tidy room? Great concept. Definitely not great execution. Seeing as you can't see the floor of my room half the time... I guess you could say it's... poorly applied. :) That has been the pattern of my life for as long as I can remember. The problem: I fail. Miserably. Frequently.  And...predictably.  And then of course, I see that I have problems. Where is my self-discipline?!?! What is wrong with me! I failed again. And then I go into a whirlwind of self-problem solving. Only to fail again. And again. And again. By this time, I'm usually VERY mad at myself. You know why? Because when I can't perform up to my personal standards, I don't feel valuable. And that hurts. If I can "fix" myself, I'll fell better about myself for a time...  I'll be on an emotional HIGH...until I fail again. And then the hurt returns, raw and a  just little bit deeper than before.

   BUT, what I am realizing is that, for starters, my feelings may be real, but they are not always valid.  I have a Savior who was willing to give His life for ME! I certainly couldn't earn His love.  But the fact that He died for me means that I have worth in at least one person's eyes. And it just so happens that that person is Lord of All.
     Second, when those feelings of worthlessness surface, it means that I'm ignoring my idenity in Christ. If I look in the mirror and feel worthless, who am I letting define my value? Me.  If I decide I need to get all A+'s on my school to feel good about myself, I am valuing MY opinion of myself more than God's.

So here's where the treasure comes in:

So often the things I treasure ... are just that: things. Maybe it's that number on that scale. Maybe it's my grades. Maybe it's people's opinion of me. Maybe it's the number of miles I can run without falling over. :) All too often, I focus up on storing earthly treasures: In other words, I focus on what will make me look good here and now. I forget the future I have before me! I forget that when I stand before Jesus one day in heaven, He's not going to ask me how many hours a day I spent in the gym. He's not going to review my life's worth of report cards. He's not going to frown at the size of my thighs. He's probably not even going to laugh at the number of times I forgot to clean my room. You know what He wants? Me to value Him. Me to want what He wants. I can focus on pleasing Him, and I can focus on DOING all the right things, without ever turning my eyes in His direction.

Now don't get me wrong. I'm not saying New Year's Resolutions are sinful. I'm not saying that if you work hard towards a goal, you're not focusing on Jesus. I guess what I am saying is that it can be overdone. Even if the action I'm doing is not a sin itself, I can let it define me. I can get my value from it.

As usual, God says it better than I can:
"Nothing can separate us from  God's love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow-not even the powers of hell can separate us from God's love." ~Romans 8:38

NOTHING, not our failures, not our untidy rooms or even our sinful nature- can separate us from Jesus' love. NOTHING can make us worthless in His eyes. I'm thinking that looking into His eyes will bring MUCH more fulfillment than looking at that number on the scales. Just a thought.


  1. You are so right. I've been thinking about this sort of thing lately ;). And Mom just read that passage about treasure in heaven vs. treasure on earth this morning! I love it when God does something like that... and sorry if my next post builds off this a little :).

  2. I just read that passage, too! And heard several Odysseys on it... And there's more about treasures in 1st Timothy, too. (which I also heard last night.) I figured God might be trying to get my attention!

  3. I've been struggling a lot with this lately as well! Thanks for (once again!) blessing me with your encouragement:) God definately has a plan for all of us, and we just need to trust him completely.

  4. You do a wonderful job explaining your thought process in a way we can apply it! Good post!

  5. Hannah, I am once again challenged and encouraged by your honest thoughts and compassionate tone. I especially appreciated your comment about how your feelings may be real but they not always valid. That is such an important perspective to have! I am also humbled by your reminder about our imperishable identity in Christ and need to value Him above all else. Keep using your writing talents to point others to Christ!