Yesterday I was quite excited to receive a hand-written letter in the mail. But on further inspection I realised it was from the gym, and my heart was filled with dread. They were writing to bust me for not going to the gym. Why it worries them is beyond me – I foolishly signed a direct debit form in January, but since then I’ve only been 5 times, which means they’ve got my money and I’m certainly not wearing out their weights contraptions. Five times in 11 months. Getting Fit in 2011: Fail.
It set me thinking about all the other goals I set for 2011 that I have failed to meet. I haven’t kept up with old friends. I haven’t eaten breakfast before 7 am. I haven’t drunk 2 litres of water every day. I haven’t prayed or read my Bible in any kind of systematic or regular way. So many ways to fail. If being a Christian was all about my ability to meet goals I’d be a failure there too. But Paul wrote to the Christians in the Roman city of Ephesus to remind them that Christianity isn’t performance based:
“God's grace has saved you because of your faith in Christ. Your salvation doesn't come from anything you do. It is God's gift. It is not based on anything you have done.”
I’m still going to set goals for 2012. And have a good crack at the self control necessary to achieve them. But my relationship with God is different. It’s not based on my ability to please him, but on his initiative in moving towards me in Jesus.
Heavenly Father, thanks that I can have a fresh start with you. Thanks that this is not dependent on my goodness or performance. Please help me to trust not in my good deeds, but in what Jesus has done on my behalf. In His name I pray. Amen.