Posts tagged ‘Change’

Three Level’s of New Year’s Resolutions

Many of us are making New Year’s resolutions. Basically, all we’re doing is making a choice to do something different in 2011 than what we’ve been doing 2010. Many times we find ourselves reverting back to our 2010 ways before the end of the first week of 2011! Sometimes that’s not a big deal. But other times, it makes all the difference in the world—this one and the next!

I believe, there are three levels of choices or resolutions that we make. The first level is made up of simple and, for the most part, neutral preferences or options. It’s called:

Insignificant Choices

  1. To quit drinking coffee and only drink green tea
  2. To finally schedule time to paint that spare bedroom
  3. To join a book club

The second level of choices/resolutions that we make goes a bit deeper. These involve more important choices and tasks, but they only reap physical rewards. This level is called:

Significant Choices

  1. To work-out regularly instead of using that time to catch some extra zzz’s
  2. To commit to moderating or improving our diets instead of indulging
  3. To improve the organization of our houses instead of burying our heads in a massive pile of laundry

The third and final level is the most important and has lasting, even eternal, implications. It is called:

Eternal or Missional Choices

  1. To make ourselves accountable to trusted friends instead of keeping things only between us and God
  2. To control our negative thoughts instead of being controlled by our greed, lust, jealousy, anger, and/or fear
  3. To practice patience in the mundane challenges of each day instead of feeling entitled to let our anger boil
  4. To make time to listen actively to our spouses/kids instead of listening like a couch potato to the television
  5. To face our fear by sharing our faith instead of wasting our days stuck in our “comfort zone”

Although this list is not all inclusive, I believe that these “Eternal or Missional Choices” either draw us closer to God’s mission for our lives or further away. There is no middle ground—no happy medium. We must be either choosing to do them or we will be missing our calling as Christ-followers.

Not convinced? Here’s some of what Jesus has to say on the subject:

“No procrastination. No backward looks. You can’t put God’s kingdom off till tomorrow. Seize the day.” Luke 9:62 (MSG)

“I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.” Rev. 3:15-16 (NIV)

Okay, okay, I don’t know about you, but I’m guilty as charged!

I want to accept Jesus’ challenge to pursue a higher calling every single day of the year–not just in January! Are you with me?

For those who are interested in learning more about the eternal impact of our choices, check out this past weekend’s message at Metro Community Church.

Who Ya Gonna Call? Boundary-Busters!

Have you ever had someone in your life who continued to hurt you over and over? Let’s say you clearly communicated your concerns, perhaps gave chance after chance, but after awhile it just kept blowing up in your face. Did you ever wish that you could find someone who could wave a magic wand over your offender and change his hurtful ways?

Allow me to rewind to the old 1984 hit movie, Ghostbusters. Do you remember it? It all began with a pesky spirit haunting your abode. According to the premise of this movie “Who ya gonna call? Ghostbusters!” And in a flash the Ghostbusters team would capture your Casper and send him directly to their “ectoplasmic containment box.” The only risk you might run would be getting in the way of the fleeing phantom and unfortunately—getting slimed! Yuck!

Yeah, it was a funny and crazy plot, but it seems to me that very often what haunts us is not a ghost, but a “Boundary-Buster.” Yes, a Boundary Buster is that person who continually steps over any line you may draw. So how do you know if you’re being haunted by a B-B?

Signs you have a Boundary-Buster in your life:

  • They give you excuses, excuses, excuses!
  • They avoid responsibility at all costs
  • They control your every move
  • They have extremely unrealistic expectations
  • They procrastinate like a pro
  • They argue for the sake of getting you off track
  • They use intimidation and threats
  • They manipulate you with guilt—“This is all your fault!” and “If you’d just change . . .”
  • When all else fails-–they lie

So what do you do if this person is your spouse, close family member, friend or your boss? Short of divorcing your spouse, quitting your job or living a day to day game of hide-and-please-don’t-seek with the B-B whenever you step out the door, you really can’t escape.

And unlike the comical Ghostbusters, there isn’t a Boundary-Busters . . . “Buster”—no one to trap the Boundary Buster in your life. In other words, you cannot change anyone but yourself.

However, there is someone who can not only soften and convict the heart of your Boundary-Buster, but also strengthen you as you deal with your B-B. That person is God. Turn to him and let him transform your B-B, but keep in mind that even God will not force a person to change. Your best option for change is allowing God to change you and your ability to deal with your B-B.

Suggestions for dealing with your B-B:

  • Surrender your B-B to God daily
  • Pray specifically for your B-B daily
  • Pray that God would give you guidance and patience with your B-B daily
  • Seek godly counsel and support
  • Read good books on setting boundaries*
  • Join a good support group (codependency, Al-Anon, Celebrate Recovery, etc.)
  • If you don’t already go, find and attend a Bible-believing church

* Boundaries by Henry Cloud and John Townsend, or Boundaries in Marriage, or How to Have that Difficult Conversation You’ve been Avoiding, or Safe People

Share