I spent the end of 2015 abroad and came back to Spain with new insight. The new year brought an awakening. I do not make New Years resolutions, per se, but I am bent on making some adjustments in my life.
It has nothing to do with exercise. Nothing to do with diet. It doesn’t exactly have anything to do with spiritual disciplines like prayer, fasting, or reading my Bible.
In fact, when I share it to you, you will surely think, “What is revolutionary about this?”
I will struggle to tell you. The concept is so obvious, so simple. But keeping it at the forefront of my mind will be the challenge, and employing more difficult still.
In my quiet little corner of the world, with few friends and no family about, I fear my opportunities will be reduced compared to living in the US or the UK. Even so, this effort will begin in the mind. Taking it captive.
Taking it captive from old habits and from the way I have been indoctrinated to think will take mental concentration and perhaps a lot of time. It will require shaking off prejudice and selfishness and dressing myself in self-sacrifice.
This is something Christians should be well versed in. Instead, we receive a gospel that is dumbed down. We struggle and busy ourselves trying to attain Utopia. This takes up most of our time. We have misaligned our priorities. Selfish ambition and the love of useless knowledge consume us.
I feel like the man James talks about in his gospel in chapter two. The foolish and worthless fellow that sees his reflection and forgets what he looks like, the man that has faith without works. Would you say the same about yourself?
Forget about the institution of the church, are we as individuals having an impact on the lives around us? Or are we like the man John warns against in his gospel I John 3:17, “But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him?”
This requires wisdom. I do understand that I can be all too eager to help those in need and have in the past wasted money and resources by giving them to the wrong person. That said, I am yearning to make a difference in people’s lives. To pay it forward.
This compelling is not new; this awakening was never dead in me. But, at the start of this new year, it has been amplified.
Truly, it is as if I woke up yesterday and the things I desired I did not desire anymore. The things I thought were beautiful have become dull. What is sharpened, though, is the desire to pack up Complaint and Criticism and send them on a one-way journey.
I have spent a lot of time teaching myself to ignore the crap in people, to settle for less-than-perfect, to silence the should-be’s and could-be’s. I have bit my tongue on countless occasions and gotten good at the craft of tactfulness.
It seems I am ready to take it one step further. To make more self-sacrifices. I am fed up with the system of the world. Capitalism. Mammon. I am not saying that buying stuff is all bad. I do realize we need the money to turn if we are to keep this ball rolling.
What I am talking about goes deeper. I need to sift through my desires to find something more important. I cannot tolerate idleness and complacency. I have seen the spiritual consequences. They are deadly.
In fact, what has resurrected in me is the need to just bless people. To bless them with my money, my time and my talents. To bless them with kind words, not trite words or words with no weight, but words of charity and love.
Not just words either, but actions.
Let 2016 be a year of great change for me. The year I really made a difference in people’s lives. There is so much hatred in the world. I am no longer satisfied with just kind thoughts, positive thinking, loving when it suits me. I want to have such an impact in my own personal Judea. I want not just to love, but to be a FORCE of love. A force so great it can take on the opposing forces of greed, hatred and pride with no fear involved.
“Beloved, do not imitate what is evil, but what is good. He who does good is of God…”
Written by Jori Sams
Jori Sams is a Christian author and freelance writer with nearly 2000 published pieces on the Internet, with over 1500 being published by Yahoo. Her books are published through Writeious Books. When she isn’t writing, you can usually find her following the sun…