Spiritual Practice

Making a List

Logan Smith & Perrie Tatum

At the beginning of each year, I make a long list of resolutions. If I expect to reach all my goals and I don’t, I feel like a failure. Many people who feel the same way compensate by reducing the number of resolutions they make each year, perhaps until they make none at all. Instead, when I make my list, I always include some unrealistic goals. That way, I realize from the start that I probably won’t reach all of my goals, so I don’t end up feeling like a failure; and I can always add the things I didn’t accomplish to next year’s list!

—Logan Smith, 19


REFLECT: At the start of a new year, I jot down a few goals: Be nicer to my family. Be more thankful. Eat more vegetables. I imagine how happy I will be when I’ve made a few changes. Yet, at the end of the year, I often feel guilty and disappointed. My problem is that I have no willpower.

I have not yet reached my goal, and I am not perfect. But Christ has taken hold of me. So I keep on running and struggling to take hold of the prize.
Philippians 3:12a (CEV)

Good news! We don’t have to rely solely on our own power. “If anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new!” (2 Corinthians 5:17, NRSV). Jesus, not our hard work, makes us new. This year, commit your plans to the Lord. Ask how God wants you to grow, and ask God to give you the power to change.

—Perrie Tatum


—from devozine (January/February 2014). Copyright © 2013 by The Upper Room®. All rights reserved.

Back To Home

To Order Devozine Magazine, call 1.800.972.0433.