Beautiful People

It’s that time of year when we start contemplating our lives and how we are going to better ourselves in the coming year.  Many of those resolutions come in the form of getting fit.  I have been a passenger on that train many, many times.  And all of those marketers selling products to make us perfect don’t help! 

We hear: 

• Work out every day.

• Cut out all sugar.

• Get eight hours of sleep.

• Drink eight glasses of water.

• Supplements, supplements, supplements. 

Those are common New Year’s resolutions all to make ourselves better, pursuing body perfection.  Of course, most of us should have a daily dose of exercise, especially if we have a stationary lifestyle.  A healthy diet and working out are amazing for the heart and body, but for the soul, we need to workout a different realm. 

For the last couple years, instead of resolving to better my physical body, I focused on goodness.  Every day, I made it a point to read my Bible and do something nice for someone.  I was on track for a couple weeks and then, those priorities fell to menial tasks that were never meant to invade my resolutions.  

Perfection is out of reach

So my quest to achieve a more loving heart happened, but not every day.  How could I be that disciplined anyway?  No person on earth is perfect, especially me!  God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit are the only beings who are absolutely perfect. Psalm 92:15 says: They will declare, “The Lord is just!  He is my rock!  There is no evil in him!”  So, we should take our cues from the one who has no faults!

Since God is perfection and we have His Word as a role model, we should look at the world as He does … with love.  God does not see the wrinkles in your face, the muffin top, the hair that’s out of place;  He sees your soul, whether it’s beautiful, stressed, meek, sad, joyful, etc.  1 Samuel 16:7: The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

A truly better you

So, if you are going to make a resolution, make one that brings joy to both your heart and others’ hearts to where you love everyone … to where you look at someone and don’t judge them or size them up.  Look at them and love them!  Say, “Hi, how are you?” and rely on God to give you some way to strike up a conversation with them.  Romans 12:9-10 (NLT) says:  Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good.  Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other.

When we connect with others and see that they are human beings, created by God, just like ourselves, we make the world more connected.  The closer we become, the more love we share and the less we quarrel.  That will make a better world for everyone.  So, use this New Year’s resolution to find the love in your heart and offer it to others.  

Bonus verses

Romans 12:2 (ESV): Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

Luke 16:15 (ESV):  And he said to them, “You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts. For what is exalted among men is an abomination in the sight of God.”

Christmas Joy

Wrapping up my Christmas wrapping duties, I just thought how absolutely wonderful is this season of giving!  People experience so much joy out of finding the best presents that will make those they care about happy.  I saw my husband put something in a stocking with a big smile on his face.  I think I may have a few surprises for him this year.

Then, I think about who started all of this joy and giving.  God did!  “For God SO LOVED the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16 NIV).  What a legacy God left that we can all have such joy in making others happy.  

We can make those in our family, friend and work circles happy.   It feels even better knowing that we can help others outside our domain through giving to missions.  Now just imagine multiplying that times millions and that is how much joy God and His heavenly realm felt by loving all of us through the gift of Jesus Christ, the best and first Christmas gift ever, the source of eternal joy!  Thank you, God!