Yesterday, I said that the promise of the new year is not so much about simple change as it is resolution. And you can't simply power your way - by your own resolve - to the resolution or reconciliation of brokenness in your life.
You know that's true. How many battles have you ever won by pure might that you didn't find yourself fighting again?
You lost weight. You gained it back. You have to lose it again.
You got that promotion. There's something more. You want another one.
You started talking to your family again. Nobody said anything about anything. The air is still awkward.
You paid off your credit card. There was an incredible sale. You owe someone again.
There's no mystery why we make the same resolutions every new year. It's because we're not resolving anything. We're fighting battles that seem like the fight but these aren't the front lines. The front lines are much more dangerous.
It's not about your weight. It's about your image. It's about your esteem and how you feel about yourself. It's about how you feel in your own skin, and that goes beyond the mirror. It goes beyond the tag in the back of the pants. It hits at the heart of your identity.
It's not about your status. It's about your merit. Your worth. It's about whether or not you think you have anything to offer this world, whether you're doing anything that matters here. It goes beyond the title and the corner office. It smacks at the core of your purpose.
It's not about family. It's about relationships. It's about loneliness and forgiveness. It's about place. It's about knowing where you connect in the world and finding that niche where you simply fit. It's about having a network, a community, and being a part of something and knowing that that is there for you.
It's not about credit cards. It's about insecurity. It's about wondering if you can ever truly have anything. It's about questioning whether you deserve anything. It's about an empty place inside of you that doesn't seem to be answered.
These things sting against your hollowness; they echo in your heart. If you ever want a real and honest change in your life, you have to stop standing up against the facade of the problem and start going after the heart of the matter.
It's something you can't muscle through. You can't make it better just by standing against it long enough. You can't outlast an emptiness. That's not how it works. No force of will, no weight of determination, will answer the longing questions your heart is begging to ask.
You have to lay your heart wide-open. You have to put it all out there. It's a battle, but these..these..are the front lines. These battle lines are drawn in your heart.
You want to lose weight? Fine. Perfect. But ask the deeper question about yourself so that you love, instead of bully, yourself into a new body.
You want that promotion? Go after it. But swap out the question of impact for that of purpose and figure out what God is doing through you for His glory...lest you keep asking questions about yours.
You want to reconnect with family? Great. But don't expect you can just waltz back into a broken place. You have to open that space first, clear the debris. A simple hello, a measure of forgiveness, and a quiet grace go a long way in that.
You want to get out of debt. Awesome. But ask yourself what you were trying to buy and find a way to get it that doesn't cost you. Grace is free. What is worth paying for?
The resolutions we make are battle lines. We want to take a stand against something. But we're going to stand all day and all night, muscle our way through, and then somehow find ourselves in the same battles again and again and again. Stop thinking about the battle and go after the war.
The way to do that is to lay your heart wide open. Put your hurt out in the open. Crack open your torn flesh just a little more to let the fresh air sting a little. Go after change. Go after something better.
Just remember this is all-out war. If you want to win, it takes more than will. You have to put your heart all out there.