(reprinted from MerrieHansen.com January 14, 2011)
“Commit everything you do to the Lord. Trust him, and he will help you.” Psalm 37:5 NLT
Did you make any New Year’s resolutions?
Most people resolve to live healthier, be wiser money managers, or to become spiritually disciplined. (Losing weight, saving money, or reading the Bible through in a year would be more specific.)
I’ve declared them all. Failed at all of them, too. Although, that depends upon the definition of failure. I’ve lost lots of weight, lived on a budget, and read the Bible all the way through. Only recently, my struggle with weight was been a lifetime battle. Debt creeps in and out of my life.
It took me two years to read the entire Bible. As with every other attempt, I used the chart in my Bible. It is an excellent guide, but also overwhelming. I found it difficult to complete each day’s assignment. So, in order for me to complete the endeavor, I followed a slightly different plan.
I built it to fit my schedule. Instead of reading the usual four chapters a day, I read by the clock. My resolutions or commitment became, “I will read the Bible ___ minutes every day at “such-and-such” time. My objective was to “read the Bible all the way through” not necessarily in one year.
I want to encourage you in your pursuit of whatever resolution you made. I’m a goal setter, and believe highly in setting them because “if you aim for nothing you’re sure to hit it every time.” I’m also a realist. “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.”
Getting healthier, wealthier, and a wiser in a year is a commendable goal, but not always pragmatic. Set reasonable goals.
- Shoot for losing 1-2 pounds a week and be ready for the weeks you lose nothing. (record your measurements; sometimes you’ll lose inches and not pounds)
- Create a budget that you can truly live within to pay down your debt and increase your savings. (Save for Christmas; even $5 month will get you $50 by October. “A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.”)
- Commit a manageable amount of time every day to read the Bible. (you’ll be surprised how much you can read in fifteen to twenty minutes
Whether losing weight, paying down your debt, or reading the entire Bible, it is better to set a slow pace, and do it, than run a fast race and quit. Remember the tortoise and the hare: “Slow and steady wins the race.”
Heavenly Father, guide me to live in Your ways. Forgive me of my failures. Keep me on track to accomplish the right changes to better my life.
Physical: 1 Corinthians 6:12-20; 9:24-27
Financial: Proverbs 10:4; 14:23; 22:7; 28:19; 2 Corinthians 9:6-7
Spiritual: Psalm 119:1-16