Forgetting What Lies Behind
The older I get, the more precious memory becomes to me. I am grateful for the 5,000 old slides and photos that we recently had converted to electronic form so that they flash on the screen of my computer when it is at rest. I am so grateful for the opportunity to remember the hard lessons of my parents’ lives as I seek to live well the life God has granted to me. I am so grateful for each year that passes during which I have a memory for even the little things – because the older I get, the more I cherish the ability to remember.
While we are all grateful for the sweet memories that time has deposited into our minds, we also all have memories that weigh us down or make us confused or sorrowful. I believe that, sometimes, consistent life experiences create “hard wiring” in us that is hard to combat or alter.
Money is a particularly challenging area of “hard wiring” for many people. Perhaps you have financial habits based on “memories” that are stored in your mind or heart. Perhaps you compulsively spend when you feel stressed. Maybe you fail to communicate with your spouse about financial issues due to the stress it creates. Maybe you consistently give into your kids’ material desires out of guilt feelings you have. We all have some pattern in our finances that we would do well to leave behind in 2017. What is your pattern?
Today, as we settle into the New Year and look toward the future, identify your one financial “hard wiring” that most holds you back. Instead of seeking to change that pattern overnight, bring it to God and surrender it to Him, along with its consequences and outgrowths in your life. After you have done that, decide if there are practical steps you can take to begin to “re-wire” your reactions and decisions so that you move in the direction of wholeness. As I have said many times, financial issues are merely symptomatic of deeper heart issues. As you work on your financial “hard wiring,” trust that God will begin to change your heart, as well.
I saw this poem on an email recently, and thought it was a good reminder for the New Year:
I am the New Year.
I am an unspoiled page in your book of time.
I am your opportunity to practice what you have learned about life during the last twelve months.
All the good that you tried to do for others, and didn’t achieve last year, is mine to grant — providing you have fewer selfish and conflicting desires.
In me lies the potential of all that you have dreamed, but didn’t dare to do…
all that you hoped for, but did not perform,
all you prayed for, but did not yet experience.
I am your opportunity to renew your allegiance to Christ, who said, “Behold, I make all things new.” (Rev 21:5)
I am the New Year.
May God’s peace encourage you as you pursue financial wisdom and depend on His Truth.