There’s so much to getting new resolutions in place and actually moving. I wish it was easier because I have so many resolutions that are sitting around that remain unfinished. Exercise regularly, get financially organized and at least attain the grammar of a third grader.
HEB 12:1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.
So according to this verse we need need to throw off “everything that hinders.” But what hinders us? What are the sins that so easily entangle us? If our goals we have for ourselves are truly goals that God has for us, then the things that hinder our goals also hinder us from doing God’s will.
So what’s a good way to figure out what hinders us? If I find myself unable to accomplish a goal (which is often), I try to figure out which one of the fruit of the spirit I’m lacking to get the goal done.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Gal 5:22-23)
If one of my goals this year is to run 12 miles per week and if I skip my run for a day cause I’m lazy, well the fruit of the spirit I’m lacking is self-control. And actually half the goals I miss is due to lack of self-control… or another way of saying it is that it’s a lack of discipline.
Another goal is to spend time doing a devotional every day. Same thing. I need self-control. Self-control to set aside time and to set aside other activities.
Another goal I have is to set aside a certain amount each month for my retirement account. Again, it’s self-control… with spending and by taking time to come up with a budget.
If I want to decrease raising my voice at my wife and kids, then it’s a mix of fruit – love, patience, gentleness and self-control. The thing is I may have a fruit of the spirit in one area, but lack the same fruit of the spirit in another area. Just because I’m becoming more patient in traffic, doesn’t mean I’m becoming more patient with my family.
So a particular fruit of the spirit that I lack needs to be worked on in each separate goal. I find that this works for me because it simplifies how I find my weakness. It’s not TV that’s bad, it’s my lack of self-control by not turning it off when it’s time to accomplish some goals. It’s not videos games that are bad, but my lack of self-control by playing too much.
Finding the fruit of the spirit I lack is much easier than trying to figure out the million reasons that prevent me from exercising (like TV, sleeping or leprechauns)… If I don’t want to exercise – I’ll find a reason.
Finding the fruit of the spirit is getting to the core of the problem because…
What we choose to do, or not do, is ultimately a spiritual decision. Because decisions start in the heart.
We’re not robots that are programmed – we actually make decisions. Should I eat pork rinds or run? Should I buy this car now or wait till next year?
Because we actually have to make decisions to live life, and decisions start in the heart… our goals are tied into our hearts. And that’s why finding the right fruit of the spirit is critical.
So what do we do?
We should go to our list of goals and figure which fruit of the spirit we need to have to be successful with that goal, then add that along with our goals to our prayers. And that’s why I’ve been praying for patience. I’ll need patience and perseverance if I am to accomplish my goal of eating one bag of pork rinds per day.
HEB 12:1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.  Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.  Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
Take time to pray: Ask God for wisdom to identify which fruit of the spirit you need for each of your goals.