Statistically speaking, last Tuesday (Jan. 17th) was the day that most people gave up their new year resolutions. People all across the country have stopped going to the gym, quit their diets, picked back up “that one”bad habit they said they’d quit, and/or given up on that new hobby they said they would try. I know for many Christians, a new years resolution they had was to grow closer to God, or perhaps read their Bible every day. I know personally, here at North Bullitt Christian Church, many members have undertaken the Legacy Reading Plan we offered at the start of the year. With January 17th being the “D-Day” of resolutions, I want to offer some encouragement to those who are continuing in their spiritual growth, or Bible reading plan this year.
First, do not become discouraged if you miss a day. The reality is, life happens. Whether we get called into work early, the kids are out of school today, or we simply got forgetful, life oftentimes has a way of inserting itself into our routines. We can easily get discouraged when we miss a day of reading or praying, and then forsake the plan and get out of the habit altogether! But, do not allow yourself to become disheartened. And even if you do, simply pick yourself back up and keep moving forward. Do we want 100% perfection when it comes to spiritual growth? Yes, of course! But that may not happen. We may stumble here and there, but what is important is how many times we can pick right back up where we left off.
One day of missing the mark does not negate the progress you have made prior. You may have forgotten to start Exodus 1 today, but flip back and see all 50 chapters of Genesis that you did finish from sticking to your plan. You may have missed a day, that is okay. Start back up the next day,
Second, understand that it is okay to change things up. By that, I mean: if you find out the Legacy Reading Plan is not for you, or your planned out means to grow in the Lord are not working, do not be afraid to change and switch out for something different. If I am being quite honest, I have already failed in the Legacy Reading Plan. It was not working for me, so I found another Bible reading plan that fits me better. I also know of a friend who went running each morning and set out to pray each morning on his runs. It only took two days or so to realize that he couldn’t focus on praying while he would run, so he moved his prayer time to his drive to and from work.
We always want to follow through with what we say we will do, yes. But if we find a plan or goal that is not working for us, we should find one that is better suited to our current state. Don’t like a certain reading plan? Pick a new one, or perhaps just begin reading through a book of the Bible (maybe, Romans or Galatians). Should we challenge ourselves? Absolutely! But do not force yourself to be tied down into a reading plan or habit that is causing you to lose passion or the Lord rather that gain passion.
My desire for North Bullitt Christian Church is that 2022 will be a year that we all deepen our faith and practice. That starts now, however. It’s still January, and so there is no better time to start this. So, pick up your Bible or headphones and begin to intake the Word daily! Seek growth daily! Commit yourself to taking in the Word daily, as much as you can. Do not allow yourself to lose your godly habits if you miss a day every once in a while!
Again, my prayer and hope is that each of us, come December, will be able to look back on the year and stand on the mountaintop of our success in growing closer to God.