On Discipline and Freedom {Year End Perspective with New Year Eyes}

December 29, 2015

On Discipline and Freedom {Year End Perspective with New Year Eyes}

I'm notoriously terrible at New Year's resolutions. I typically don't pick a word, don't sign up for gym memberships, don't go on a diet, don't commit to a routine, and don't resolve to do better. It's not that I don't want to do any of those things, it's just that I long for change to be lasting and motivated by joy and conviction...not guilt or legalism.

And maybe there's also a bit of this:

Fear over past failures that keeps me from pursuing future possibilities = Expecting less so that I'm disappointed less.

That kind of reasoning would make sense if we were a people that relied fully on our own abilities, but I know better than that if I rehearse what I believe.

  • We have been redeemed in spite of what comes naturally.
  • We are forgiven in spite of our unworthiness.
  • We are given new beginnings in spite of every failed one that's come before.

We, of all people, can look to the future without being bound by the past. For us, disciples of Jesus, a new year and setting goals may very well be a part of our growth and sanctification...if Christ is our end game and not our stepping stone. Discipline and growth are to encourage us to greater depth with our walk with Christ, not as the means of deliverance itself. When I remember that nothing I do with more discipline will simply fix all that ails me, I'm free to pursue routine and discipline for what they are meant to be: a tool. 

The disciplined person rises courageously, even heroically, to meet life and conquer it. He resolutely faces his duty. He is governed by a sense of responsibility. He has inward resources and personal reserves which are the wonder of weaker souls. He brings adversity under tribute and compels it to serve him.
— Richard Shelley Taylor

We typically cower to adversity and do what it says - at least that's what I did many times in 2015. But, discipline...rather than binding us, can be freeing. I'm not a very disciplined person - spiritually or otherwise; it's an area I've struggled with my whole life. But in pursuing a disciplined life, I know what we gain is a tethering of ourselves to the truth of God's Word, to the anchor of habitual prayer, to the consistency of preaching truth to ourselves. Discipline teaches our hearts to TELL OUR anxiety, fear, worry, sin, and faithlessness WHAT TO DO. 

  • So, if I had to choose a word for 2015 (which I don't do), it'd be: TETHERED...because every plan, every hope I have for 2016 is of no benefit if not by him, through him, and for him. (Romans 11:36)
  • If I had to begin a new routine, it'd be to strive once again to be in God's Word daily, working my way through the entirety of the Bible in 2016 (which I've never done in a year.)
  • If I had to make some physical changes, it'd be to commit to daily active exercise, as well daily active prayer.
  • If I had to resolve to improve in an area, I would be resolute in my acknowledgement that without Christ, I am nothing.  

Are you looking to make changes in your life but fear setting goals or can't commit to trying? I get it, friends, I do. Look to Christ as your end game. He is all you have and all you need...and to Him be the glory for the ways in which you long to be a new creation in 2016.


*Shh...there will be flash two-day End of the Year Blowout SALE happening at the shoppe beginning 12/31/15. Follow me on Instagram for details, or subscribe to the newsletter (going out 12/30/15 for early access and extra treats!

Because of grace,

 

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