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Getting and Giving

Can you guess what most people want in this new year? If Google searches on New Year’s resolutions are any indicator, the top three goals must be (see endnote for resource):

  1. "Get Healthy” - over 62 million searches

  2. “Get Organized” - over 33 million searches

  3. “Live Life to the Fullest” - nearly 19 million searches

Generally, I’ve noticed that resolutions and goals tend to be what I want to get, to somehow be a little closer to perfect. Logically, I know I’ll never be perfect, but that doesn’t stop me from wanting it and striving toward it. Yes, my goals for 2017 included such things as losing weight and finish another writing project. But my primary goal is different.

Recently I’ve been memorizing and meditating on the “I am’s” that Jesus said about Himself. Last spring I memorized John 15 with its “I am the true vine,” and “I am the vine.” One of the many insights from this chapter was how Christ gives of Himself for us, the branches. That motivated me to memorize more of the “I am’s.”

Near the end of the year I took on John 14: 1-7 with its legendary, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” Now I’m in John 10:7-18 where Christ reveals so much: “I am the door of the sheep,” “I am the door,” and twice, “I am the good shepherd.”

As I reflect on these passages, I see giving. For Jesus, giving was a way of life. For me, getting is a way of life. Something isn’t right.

My main goal this year? Be more giving. Sure, we usually think of giving financially and giving our time. I don’t have a lot extra in either department. My quest this year is to learn how to give of myself, not just my finances and time. This might include:

  1. Giving a smile to a stranger

  2. Focus on those I am with, caring for their needs

  3. Assume the best of someone, give them grace

  4. Thanking others for their help, especially when thanks is not expected

If you have any additional ideas, I’d love to hear them.

1 "2017 New Year’s Resolutions: The Most Popular and How to Stick to Them,” by Nicole Spector.

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