What Do You Believe About the Coming Year?

What do you believe about yourself in regards to the coming year?

Do you believe there is no way out of your current life?

Do you believe that this could be the year when your untapped potential rises to the surface?

What do you believe?

“When we bring people to believe differently, they really do become different. One of the greatest weaknesses in our teaching and leadership today is that we spend so much time trying to get people to do things good people are supposed to do, without changing what they really believe.”

“We always live up to our beliefs – or down to them, as the case may be. Nothing else is possible. It is the nature of belief.” (Dallas Willard, The Divine Conspiracy)

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Maybe this is why New Year’s resolutions rarely stick – because we try to change only our behavior, and none of our beliefs.

For centuries people have realized this: our beliefs about the world, about God, and about ourselves shape our behavior. One of the ways that humanity has attempted to radically change their beliefs, or strengthen them, has been through the practice of spiritual disciplines such as meditation, prayer, fasting, simplicity, and solitude. I’m looking at the coming year and trying to decide which of these I’d like to focus on for the year, which of these might help me become less prideful, less self-centered, more kind, more loving, gentler with my children, patient.

What you believe about yourself? What do you believe about the world? These things will shape the year to come.

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Do you have any strategies or tools for changing beliefs that will in turn change your behavior in desired ways?


8 Replies to “What Do You Believe About the Coming Year?”

  1. What I have found is this: When I humbly come to the Cross daily and hear Jesus say, “It is finished!” I am reminded that I do not have to work at being made righteous.

    When I humbly come to the Cross, I am reminded how Jesus ascended so the Holy Spirit would come down.

    When I humbly come to the Cross, I am reminded God wants to transform me more than I want to be transformed.

    And I am able to respond obediently to the prompting of the Spirit. I no longer ‘have to’ do things.

    I get to.

    1. I understand what you’re saying, Dave. I’m not talking about doing things in order to gain acceptance. Mostly in my mind I’m thinking of things we want to do simply to be better people, better friends, better parents, or children.

      I think so often we think we can do these things just be trying harder, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.

      I like what you wrote, because for many people believing the things you wrote is the catalyst they need to change the things about themselves that they’d like to change.

  2. My biggest challenge in the change area is discerning what beliefs I hold that need to be changed in order for me to effectively change practical areas of my life. You know? When there are very practical ways I need to evolve and I have struggled to do so, so far it is hard for me to dig through the layers of what I believe that is entrenching me in destructive behaviour. I’m all about being selfaware, but it is still hard to identify all the twisted beliefs that are wrapped up in the ‘why’s. Does that make sense?

    1. Yes! Yes! Yes! That is the foundational problem all of us have. This is why I’m such a huge proponent of counseling and practicing the disciplines – it is so important to construct a mirror against which we can see our true selves. Usually that involves someone or something else.

      1. My experiences with counselling have been unmitigated disasters. I haven’t given up hope on the idea of guided mirrors, but unfortunately I think I just need to find someone without a Bible on their desk to do it.

  3. Great thoughts!
    One way I found that helps me change my thoughts about myself, others, the world, etc. is to learn and to gather knowledge by reading with an open mind and listening more than talk. And by listening… I mean to openly and honestly listen and to take time to think through what I’m hearing.

  4. Reading the Bible and surrounding myself with people who think differently than I do. Those two things alone will challenge and shape my beliefs every time.

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