In my book Balanced, one of the things I encourage women to do is take an honest look at their lives, and to come up with a “Yeah! list” of things they're doing great at, and a “Fail! list” of areas they feel they're falling short. I thought I'd take my own advice. Here is the list of the first things that popped into my mind today:
I'm keeping up with Reading Through the Bible this year!
I'm reading a fun “chapter book” with my kids: Hitty: Her First Hundred Years. I always enjoy these moments, and I know they do, too.
I'm trying to do special things for my husband . . . like making his favorite pie. I can tell he likes to be surprised in these ways.
I've said no to some writing, ministry, and speaking opportunities, even though they sounded super fun, because I know doing too much is hard on my family.
I'm helping to connect blogger friends for support and encouragement.
I'm not going a very good job connecting with my older kids. The little ones are so needy.
I'm not doing a very good job at spending time managing business things beyond my computer screen—like the piles on my desk, on my floor, on the guest bed!
I'm doing OK at maintaining my weight-loss, but I need more “umph” to lose the last twenty pounds!
The Evaluation of my Evaluation
OK, the truth is, I had an easier time thinking of things on the fail list first. And I know I could have come up with more, but those three fails are the things that really stood out.
In Balanced I encourage readers to take a look at their failures and ask, “Do I need to make changes in this area, or do I need to give myself grace?”
As I took these things before God (as I asked my readers to do) I realize none of them are really failures. I do spend time talk to, Skyping with, and hanging out with my older kids. Yet I also need to be proactive to reach out to them, help them, and encourage them.
I do need time to sort through the things on my desk, so I write this into my schedule. (Is it really that hard to sort through papers? Sometimes I think it is, but I can pray and ask for strength for things like this, too.)
Finally, my weight, which has been a life-long challenge, is again another reminder that I need to turn to God. I need to seek Him for my comfort and pleasure. I also need to remember to thank Him for helping me make it this far (forty-five pounds down!). I need to rejoice in what He's doing in my life even though I haven't “arrived.”
As I pray about these things God also reminds me that any success I have comes from Him. None of my Yeahs! are things to boast about. As I turn to Him for my strength, He will help me. Also, my success is centered on these things more than anything:
- I am a child of God. John 1:12
- I am Jesus' friend and He confides in me! John 15:15
- I have been made right in God's sight by faith. Romans 5:1
- My body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. I've been bought with a high price. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
- I am part of God's body of believers. 1 Corinthians 12:27
- I am chosen by the will of God. Ephesians 1:1
- God decided in advance to adopt me into his family. Ephesians 1:5
- Jesus purchased my freedom and forgave my sins. Colossians 1:14
- I am complete in my union with Christ. Colossians 2:10
After reading these verses, the truth is that no matter how I feel about my successes and failures, my opinion of myself falls painfully short compared to Christ's opinion of me. And His opinion is TRUTH.
Evaluation is important because Jesus uses it to help me discover areas where I need Him more. Still, no evaluation of myself should ever make me feel inferior. Christ has done so much for me. I am His: chosen, accepted, adopted, purchased, and complete. When I depend on truth, I can rejoice in how far He's brought me. I also have renewed enthusiasm for where He wants to take me—in His time, with His strength, and for His glory. Now that's something to evaluate!
Tricia Goyer, TriciaGoyer.com