And while this year is no different as far as having goals, I am actually approaching my goals quite differently. I’ve come to the place where I realize that I can’t “make” myself change- not real, lasting change, anyway. In all aspects of my life, there are things that need to change. Health, finances, friendships, family, community involvement, my relationship with God. And certainly there are actions that I must take to make these changes. While there is no doubt that I should put forth an effort, I realize that I cannot rely solely on my efforts or my own strength and determination.
I’ve realized that anytime I try to do things on my own, with sheer willpower and determination, I fail quickly. Why? Because these things fade over time, and I get burned out. Outward efforts simply do not create inward changes, and inward changes are the ones that will last. So how do I change myself on the inside? Well, honestly, I’m not convinced that I can. I can readily identify ways that I need to change on the inside, but making it happen is an entirely different matter. How often I’ve fallen into the trap of believing that if I just work hard enough to do all the right things, that will eventually change my heart. It won’t. Only God can do that. I mentioned a few posts back that real change starts on the inside and is then reflected in outward actions.
Of course, I am not suggesting that all I need to do is say a few prayers and then sit back and wait for God to change me. I certainly need to take responsibility for my actions and work toward change. But without seeking God for inner change, my actions will amount to very little in the end. I truly believe that as I seek God and have a closer relationship with him, I will be changed on the inside, and this will result in outward changes.
So really, that is my goal for the year, and for every day- to seek God, to draw closer to him, and to allow my relationship with him to shape me and change me.