by Lori Wildenberg
This year I showed no mercy. As I packed away my Christmas decorations, I purged those I rarely display. My collection was reduced significantly. It felt great to scale back. As my give-away pile grew, God impressed upon me that I hang onto lots of things— and not just material items.
I hoard poor habits and negative characteristics.
In this new year, with God’s prompting, I am challenging myself to ditch the qualities that look more like me and less like the babe in the manger I had just celebrated.
Here’s my list of 10 characteristics to toss with 10 Prayers to accompany that list.
- Unforgiveness: When I’ve hurt someone, I want to be forgiven. Why would I not freely give it when another has wronged me? Lord, replace my unforgiving heart with a forgiving heart. I want to be quick to forgive (Matthew 18:21).
- Pride: Pride divides. It prevents family closeness. Lord, one of the six things You hate is haughty eyes. Please replace my stubbornness with humility (Proverbs 6:16-19).
- Conditional love: Love is a gift. Love isn’t meant to be parceled out, divided, or earned. Lord, give me the supernatural capacity to love when it is hard (Matthew 5:43-48).
- Selfishness: The All About Me syndrome –my time, my resources, my feelings, my perspective. To cure this malady, I need to act more like a servant and see things from a bird’s eye view. Lord, remove my selfishness, give me eyes to see what you see and create a servant attitude in my heart (Mark 9:35).
- Dissatisfaction: Paul encourages us to be content in all situations. Lord, take away my dissatisfaction and replace it with contentment in the abundant blessings You have given me so a thankful and grateful heart can blossom (Philippians 4:11).
- Distraction: The present of presence is the most meaningful gift. Lord, I am easily distracted by my phone and my list. Remind me daily people are more important than my to-dos or cell phone (Mark 10:13-16).
- Criticism: Kindness is the glue that holds families together. Lord, replace my critical spirit with kindness. Nudge me to speak life by being positive and ncouraging (Ephesians 4:29).
- Anger, agitation, annoyance: Rather than reacting, I want to manage difficult situations with wisdom, love, and peace. Lord, help me to respond to difficult moments in a way that honors You. Teach me to address disagreements agreeably (Proverbs 12:16).
- Independence: An interdependent (not co-dependent) family is the type of family I want. I want my home to be one that emphasizes participation and pitching in. A place where people care so much about each other that they want to do life together. An attitude of independence creates roommates and boarders. I want to have relationships with my family members that lasts a lifetime. Lord, wipe away my spirit of independence and exchange it for a dependence on You and interdependence with my family members (Ecclesiastes 4:12).
- To be me: Forget being more like me. I want to be more like Jesus. Lord, I want to reflect you in all I do (Matthew 11:29).
Prayer, worship, and learning more about who Jesus is, is the way to become more like him and less like me.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other. Galatians 5:22-26 NIV
This article is brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).
About the author: Lori Wildenberg is passionate about helping families create connections that last a lifetime. Lori, licensed parent-family educator, parent coach, and national speaker, is the author of 6 parenting books with Messy Hope: Help Your Child Overcome Anxiety, Depression, or Suicidal Ideation being her most recently published book. Lori and Tom have four adult children plus three in-laws and three little grands. Connect with Lori on Facebook or Instagram or over at her popular Moms Together Community page or group. Go to loriwildenberg.com for more information.
Join the conversation: What qualities do you want to ditch so you can look more like the King in the cradle?