Jason Huwe is Resurrection’s minister for 20-Somethings and College Life. He has attended Resurrection since 2007 and has been on staff about 2 years. He enjoys ping pong, Dr. Pepper and cheering on his Nebraska Cornhuskers.
New Year’s is the season of renewal, optimism and (of course) resolutions. For a long time, I avoided making resolutions for the new year. I didn’t have anything against them, but I never knew anyone who actually kept their resolve past Easter, let alone the entire year.
It’s unfortunate, but this pattern can often replay itself year after year, decade after decade. This year, I will lose the weight. This year, I will get control of my money. This year, I will try to better myself. It’s a good thing to want to be a better person and there is no shortage of resources trying to help you (have you visited the self help section of a bookstore?). Sometimes, the books help. Other times, not so much.
Is there some secret to bettering myself? There is one book that you won’t find in the self-help section that I’d recommend for this year. Unfortunately, it’s quite long and finishing it in a year would be a hefty resolution in itself (hint: it’s the Bible), so I’ll give you the Cliff’s Notes version.
It turns out that people have been trying self-help for centuries. A long, long time ago, the Jews found an amazing life coach name Yahweh who told them that by simply doing things his way, they would find peace and contentment. They tried over and over again to let Yahweh guide their lives, but so often they found themselves wanting the control back. Yahweh even sent the people His direct line (Jesus) so they could call him anytime, but they still continued to resist doing things his way.
You see, that’s the trick with self-help. What we really need is help. We insist on putting the ‘self’ in there so we can keep a measure of control. The paradox that Christians face is that self-help is only truly achieved when we get rid of the ‘self’ and let God take control of our lives. It isn’t easy and can actually cause some unusual feelings in your stomach. Say this to yourself: God, I want you to take control of my life even if that means making less money. God, I want you to take control of my life even if I remain single forever. God, I want you to take control of my life even if I have to move away from my friends and family. Awkward, isn’t it?
But remember what we really need: help. It is not easy to give up control. It starts like many things do, one day at a time. As we start giving God control, we begin to release our fears of the unknown and trust that God’s plan is best. When we give Him control, we start to realize that He won’t let us down. We start to understand that there are more fulfilling things than more money, success and stuff. We begin using our gifts for God’s glory and begin finding our purpose in the world. This is something worth resolving to do: giving up the control. Day by day. Little by little.
Return to the GPS Guide to read today’s scripture and reflection questions.