I’m not normally a New Year’s resolution kind of a person. I believe that we need to make goals and strive to accomplish them year ’round.

However, I’ve decided to change that for this coming year. I am making my first goal my most important one to accomplish for the entire year. Call it a resolution, if you must.

A resolution, by its’ definition, is a firm decision to do or not do something; the quality of being determined or resolute; the action of solving a problem, dispute, or contentious matter. It means to loosen, release and/or resolve.

So, with that in mind, I share my 2017 Resolution with you. I resolve to allow myself to be set apart as God wills it in my life, knowing that it will separate me from people I want in my life or want to get to know better.

I assure you that this is a positive change for me. It means that I will let go of the “need” to make people like me, especially the 56 people at church whom I struggle internally with knowing they absolutely do not like me at all. I’ve also decided to pray for each one of these people by name as the Holy Spirit guides me.

So, how do the two of those actions go together? They are a release of the “Why don’t they like me? What did I do wrong? What is wrong with me? Why does soandso talk about me that way?” negative self-talk that takes up so much of my mental space. The release of all that combined with holy prayer on behalf of nay-sayers and detractors is what we are called to do.

Matthew 5:44 – 47 says “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Do not even tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even Gentiles do the same?…”

I’ve wasted precious time in a needless mental struggle that has unwittingly become my idol because it has come before God and permeated my daily prayers. Now is the time to do a new thing, give this struggle entirely to God and pray for the people instead of the situation itself. And also give myself the grace to let go of it all as He sets me apart to do His perfect will in my life for His glory.

What change will you make for God’s kingdom in your life in this new year?