I love New Year’s resolutions. There’s always something (MANY somethings) I need to work on, and each new year gives me an opportunity to reflect on where I am and where I’d like to be at this time next year.
As a person who likes to create lists, I take resolution creation very seriously. I start with four categories upon which I want to improve my life: Personal, Family, Financial, and Spiritual. Then I brainstorm as many objectives as possible for each category, think about each one from a “SMART” business perspective (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-based), and use that to narrow down 3-4 per category. Lastly, I write a 1-2 sentence strategy for each objective to help me summarize how I will reach that goal. Yeah, it’s pretty detailed. OK it’s downright nerdy without a doubt. But I enjoy doing it once a year and it helps give me direction in my life.
Unfortunately, it gave me great pause this year when I realized I had been spending at least 2-3 times as much effort reflecting on my financial goals than my family and spiritual goals, which are the areas that need more attention.
“No one can serve two masters. He will either hate one and love the other, or be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.” -Matthew 6:24
Are my priorities out of whack? Is it wrong to spend more energy pursuing monetary goals than to improve my relationship with my teenage daughters? Is eliminating debt more important than learning more deeply about God’s plan for me and how I can work towards it? When I see it written in black and white it’s very clear to me that I should definitely reevaluate what’s most important for 2018 and beyond.
I know God wants the best for us, and from that truth He wants the best for me and my family as well. It’s not wrong to pursue financial security for my family but I can’t let it overpower Jesus’ much more important desire to increase love and unity in the domestic church. In order to fulfill His plan for me on earth I have to focus more on His goals for me and less on my own.
To you and your family, here’s to an amazing 2018!
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat [or drink], or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds in the sky; they do not sow or reap, they gather nothing into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are not you more important than they? Can any of you by worrying add a single moment to your life-span? * Why are you anxious about clothes? Learn from the way the wild flowers grow. They do not work or spin. But I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was clothed like one of them. If God so clothes the grass of the field, which grows today and is thrown into the oven tomorrow, will he not much more provide for you, O you of little faith? So do not worry and say, ‘What are we to eat?’ or ‘What are we to drink?’ or ‘What are we to wear? All these things the pagans seek. Your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom [of God] and his righteousness, * and all these things will be given you besides. Do not worry about tomorrow; tomorrow will take care of itself. Sufficient for a day is its own evil.” -Matthew 6: 25-34