by Allie Marie Smith
A self-confessed goal-setter and chronic list-maker, it has taken some time to learn how to set forth goals that are realistic, beneficial and honorable before God. For years since age 14, each New Year (and summer and fall!) I would write out my new plan to drop down to an “unhealthy-for-me” number on the scale – an effort that set me up for emotional eating, binges and mental misery. I’d be lying if I told you that temptation never crossed my mind from time to time, but I’m grateful God has given me the strength to rest secure in His truth that I am beautiful and healthy just as I am. Girl, let me tell you that NO number on the scale feels as good as freedom!
Maybe it’s finally time to do things different and examine any expectations, goals or resolutions you’ve made this New Year. Are they beneficial? Realistic? Will they draw you in fuller reliance upon your Maker? Are they rooted in a spirit or striving or are they grounded in God’s grace?
Proverbs 16:2-4 instructs us to, “Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.” But what exactly does this mean? That whatever goals we commit to God will come to pass? Unfortunately, it’s not that easy, although I often wish it were! To commit our plans to God is to present our desires, plans and dreams before the Lord and humbly ask Him to examine our heart and search our motives. “Search me O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting (Psalm 139:23-24). To commit our plans to the Lord means that we give Him the say and seek His will in our life, not our own! It means trusting that God’s will is better than our own wants and desires. To commit our plans to Him is to genuinely want His plans for us to succeed, not the ones we have made for ourselves.
As we reassess our resolutions by committing them to the Lord, let us ask that He will give us the discernment to distinguish the goals and plans that are pure, noble, beneficial and honoring to Him, from those that are not in His best interest for the woman He’s created us to be. The result is success in God’s eyes – the molding of our inner selves – lasting transformation that begins with our heart. Give it a try! Let go and let God succeed in His plans for you!
Do you experience the pressure or temptation to start a rigid “get fit” or weight-loss plan every new year? Do you think your motivation is reasonable and healthy or is it rooted in unhealthy perfectionism that can lead to bondage?