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Click the heart to sponsor my service work at Valiant Hearts throughout the month of October. In their weekly support group, I will offer practical steps to overcoming the effects of childhood sexual abuse. For more information about this organization, visit www.valianthearts.org
Golly! It's a little late in the new year to say Happy New Year! So let's go with, "Happy goal setting in the new year." Most of you already know this, but if your'e new to my website, blogging is not a steady gig for me. If when I fade from the scene, it translates to: there's a lot going on behind the scenes. To date, I'm in the thick of book proposal updates for my non-fiction project, How to Forgive What You'll Never Forget. (In case you forgot.) Lol!
Something for YOU . . .
A support-group attendee asked, "What does it mean to abide in Christ?"
Several of the women shared their points of view, but the general consensus was: To read the Bible and pray everyday. On the surface, it sounds right, right? In-arguably, it's truth. It reflects what they've been taught to believe. But is it the whole truth?
Jesus Himself said, "If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free" (John 8: 31b and 32:a NKJV).
But what is abidance?
In Greek, abide translates as a primary verb; to stay, dwell, continue, to remain or stand, endure, be present. (ref. Strong's Exhaustive Concordance.)
Merriam-Webster defines abide as a transitive verb: to bear patiently, to endure without yielding
What does goal-setting have to do with abidance in the Word?
It's simple, really. Daily affirmation does not equal action. You can read the Bible everyday. You can display Scripture that speaks of your true identity in Christ, but if you are not walking HIS talk, you will remain in bondage or risk its return.
I get it, some of us have never been told we're beautiful or princesses. And we need to hear these sweet, true words. Last week, a friend told me someone commented that I'm beautiful. My heart needed to hear it. But past the words read by me or spoken by others, there comes a point when I must roll up my sleeves and make this discovery for myself. At the end of the day it boils down to a verb. The choices I make and the relationships I choose express what I believe about myself.
If I'm in a relationship with someone (romantic or otherwise) who clearly does not honor me, but I refuse to end the relationship because I want the company, then I must acknowledge my co-authorship in a story that minimizes my value. Make sense?
No one wants to hear this. It's so much easier to blame "him" or "them" or "her" and then slap an "I'm a princess in Christ" bumper sticker on my car. But what if it's not about blaming or bumper stickers? What if it's about a tangible claiming or re-claiming of self-worth that is affirmed in every choice I make and every step I take?
This leads us to goal-setting and how it should always reconcile with The Word. The mark of true abidance in Christ. Read your Bible everyday? Great! You're further along than you might think. Don't own a Bible? Buy one. Don't have the dough to buy one? Borrow one. Can't borrow one? Steal one and then ask God to forgive ya. (I'm kidding; mostly.)
Today I'm sharing the model I find most practical for personal goal setting and abidance in Christ. Bonus, it translates well in times of crisis. The times when a girl feels too overwhelmed to take a single step in any direction and collapsing in a heap on the floor makes the most sense.
The acronym is S.M.A.R.T. And it shakes out like this:
S - specific
M - measurable/meaningful
A - agreed upon/attainable
T - time-based/trackable
Stay tuned for Part 2, scheduled to post Tuesday, February 7, 2017. The unpacking of S.M.A.R.T. coupled with John 8:31-32. Meanwhile, take a week to think about what you've read today. At a glance, what does S.M.A.R.T mean to you? What areas/relationships leave you feeling defeated? What would you like to see change and remain changed?
Pray. Journal your thoughts and questions to God along with what He whispers to your heart. It's the whole truth that sets us free. By the way, I have "stuff" too. So lets roll up our sleeves and bow our knees--together.
May 2017 be the year we walk in humble fervor in abidance in Him. And we shall know the truth, and the truth shall make us free!
Published on Sunday, January 29, 2017 @ 12:18 PM CDT