Jan 2, 2008

The Punching Dummy

Happy New Year everyone!

I trust that you all had a wonderful and safe New Year's day.

I hung out with my family all day long - eating, laughing, napping, watching football, and eating some more. That's as close to heaven as you can get here on earth.

One of my favorite toys as a kid was the punching dummy - you know the blow up toy that is weighted at the bottom so that when you punch it, it falls down but gets right back up?

It is January 2, and I trust that we've not had too many opportunities to mess up the new year. I hope that your new year's resolution still remain intact and on goal.

But because we are human, we are bound to fail. We're gonna mess up. We're going to say and do some stupid things and we're not going say and do some things that we should do.

Does this mean that 2008 won't be any different than 2007? That we are going to make the same mistakes and be the same person?

I hope not. I pray that we will all grow and mature and be a better person in 2008 than we were in 2007.

What's going to make the difference? It won't be that we will be more perfect - that's just not going to happen. But we will be better if we choose to be like the punching dummy.

No - the point is not to be punched. The point is that we're going to mess up and we're going to get tripped up. But, just like the punching dummy, when we do mess up we're going to get right back up again. And then we're going to do it better the next time. And we're going to get better at this being a Christ-follower thing.

Spiritual maturity is not about messing up and and getting tripped up. Tripping up and messing up is what all human beings do. But spiritual maturity has more to do with getting up and and doing it again and doing it better the next time around.

So as we look at 2008, I pray that we would all be like the punching dummy - no not that we get punched, but that we get right back up and do it better the next time.

And should we make this our practice and goal for 2008, we will find that ourselves in a better place in 2009. God bless you and a Godly New Year!

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