Start with LOVE.
"Let love and kindness be the motivation behind all that you do."
1 Cor 16:14 (TPT)
If I were to write you a letter about new beginnings, I’d start with this one thing:
It might feel cliché and soppy and like it belongs on a fluffy cat picture that hangs on the back of the toilet door.
But, if we are going to talk about setting new goals, starting new things, experiencing new life, I’ll start with love every time.
Love is a fierce, essential, powerful, place to begin. It’s at our very foundation and is the end game of it all. Love is our why, and our how, and our what, and our where.
It’s not one bit fluffy.
It also might feel cliché to set goals and talk about newness at the beginning of the new year. I’ve been one to say that you don’t need a new year to set new goals or start projects. I’ve been frustrated with the culture of making unrealistic resolutions that are impossible to sustain. And still am. But the ritual of a new year gives us a tangible framework to get the work done. I no longer discount it. Instead, I jump in the slipstream of it.
If you’re making grand plans, setting new goals, or just determining to start new, then dear reader, start with love.
Love is the basis of all lasting and healthy change. You can’t hate or shame or make someone or something or yourself change.
I mean, you can. You can try. And it might work to a point. But it's messed up. It produces augmented, bent out of shape, change.
But when you love yourself into change? Someone else? The world? That’s where some beautiful work can get done.
Build your plans and lists and goals and visions and dreams and transitions and hopes for the New Year on love. Even if you’ve failed in 2017; even if you’ve been hurt and damaged; even if you’re angry and embarrassed; even if you're tired and wear - perhaps especially so - start with love.
It’s really the only way you can move forward with health.
When signing off a letter to his friends in Corinth, Paul said:
"Let love and kindness be the motivation behind all that you do.”
That’s as good a place as I’ve ever heard to start whether it’s a new year or just a new day.
Moments Matter. Lived loved.