January 5, 2011
It’s the New Year and still early enough into it that you’re probably thinking about the changes for personal improvement you’d like to make in 2011. We all do it. Make the list – whether it’s mental or actually written: quit smoking, drop a few lbs., read the Bible, pray more, be a better listener, get the finances in order, build stronger relationships – the list goes on and on.
The sad thing is that the vast majority of those good intentions never come to fruition. Something aborts the seed or destroys the plan (if you even have one) along the way. There are lots of good resources that speak to accomplishing your goals. What I’ve noticed is that a lot of them are missing the first step. Maybe they just assume that we get it and move from this premise. My 50 years of living now has shown me, it’s best not to assume anything.
That first step is simple – but yet probably the hardest to do – take personal responsibility. Since the Garden, man has been shifting the blame for his circumstances on someone else. Adam blamed Eve; Eve blamed the serpent. Ultimately it was an affront to God Himself! “The Man said, “The Woman you gave me as a companion, she gave me fruit from the tree, and, yes, I ate it.” Genesis 3:12 – MSG
Did you catch that? In other words, the mess I’m in is actually YOUR fault God. Proverbs 19:3 (MSG) says, “People ruin their lives by their own stupidity, so why does God always get blamed?” Getting out of the mess first requires me to acknowledge that I’m the one that made it. Breaking denial is the first step to wholeness. The circumstances that I’m in right now are a product of my own choices and the sooner I own that, the quicker I can see lasting change come. Take that first step today!