New year, new you, right?
That’s the saying, at least. This time of year, we make a lot of resolutions. We say, “I’m going to do X.” Or, “I’m going to do Y.” But I want to challenge you to do something different. I want to challenge you to cut it out.
Not necessarily the resolutions. They aren’t bad altogether. But, instead of resolving to “do” a lot more this year, I want you to think about what “not” to do. In other words, what can you cut out this year to make you a better person and put your focus back to where it needs to be and what matters?
See, I think a lot of times we get caught up in the idea that we have to do more as the calendar turns over. So we tell ourselves, “If I can just do this one thing, everything will be better.” And then we wonder why we’re so burned out by the end of the year. So we resolve to do another thing. And the cycle continues.
But as I’ve been praying over the last few weeks, the idea that keeps popping into my head is that I need to do less. I need to cut some things out, not add more.
We live in such a “do more” culture right now. Hustle. Grind. Hustle. Grind. And we’re burning out.
“A new study by Asana looked at over 10,000 knowledge workers across seven countries and found approximately 70% of people experienced burnout in the last year,” reports Forbes.
That’s ridiculous. Seventy percent! Friend, that means seven out of 10 people reading this have experienced burnout this year. I’m one of them – and I’m writing the article.
We’re struggling. I’m struggling. The proper response to that is not to add more to your plate, but less.
I remember a Bible verse in Jeremiah where God is talking to Israel. It says, “I will refresh the weary and satisfy the faint of heart.”
Who here is weary? Who here is faint of heart? (I thought so.)
I think the best way to take hold of that promise in the Bible is to cut some things out this year. If you resolve one thing, I implore you to consider that idea. Start with these three questions:
- What small things are taking my focus away from what matters?
- What big things are taking my focus away from what matters?
- Where in my life am I experiencing the most anxiety?
Then I want you to ask this question: What’s one thing that’s taking my focus away from what matters most? Maybe that involves work. Maybe that involves some personal, destructive life choices. Maybe that’s someone in your life that’s toxic. Whatever it is, I want you to think about what it looks like to cut out something in that area of your life.
And by the way, what matters most is not family. It’s not work. It’s not success. It’s not your boyfriend or girlfriend. It’s not money.
I’ve been chasing some things besides Jesus this past year. As I’ve taken stock of 2022, I’ve realized that I’ve lost focus on what matters most. Have I cut Him out completely? No. But you don’t need to feel burned out. To feel empty. I’ve struggled with those feelings, and it’s because my priorities have been out of whack. I let the busyness, among other things, push me away from the One that matters most.
There’s another verse in the Bible that is really important. It’s Matthew 6:33: “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”
In other words, if we seek Him first – if we cut out some of the other junk – the irony is that we actually find the fulfillment we were looking for in those other things. It’s one of the beautiful mysteries of Living Second.
So friend, this week I want you to find something – anything – to cut out. Cut it out and then replace it with pursuing Jesus. The beauty is that the energy spent doing that has a return that fulfills and sustains you.
And know this: I’m right there along with you.