Tax preparation time… ugh!
But “for the joy set before him, Jesus endured the cross…”
Joy? I need to borrow this Biblical principle apply it to my taxing tax work? I know. It’s ludicrous to compare taxes to crucifixion. Both can be agonizing, but the torment of the latter far exceeds anything imaginable. Still, I like to think of this phrase, “For he joy set before” when I have to endure mundane or dreaded tasks, like preparing taxes. While I am gathering receipts and making spreadsheets and double checking mileage, I can think about how good it will feel when it’s over. Can’t I?
Every year when we go through the process of accounting for our income and business expenditures, I promise myself to be more diligent next year. “I WILL do this better next year.” I vow! I’ll use a better system. I’ll be more disciplined. I’ll document more. I have “repented” like this for years. But every year I find that I’ve slipped up on execution. I’ve discovered that repentance without REAL steps of change is merely a nice gesture. Good intentions alone never bring the joy of transformation.
True “repentance” does begin with recognition of the problem. That part is easy. It then moves to a next step: “Believing the good news,” or seeing and then implementing a recipe for life. Repentance means deleting what’s not working and then adding a download and upgrade for what will work. Tax prep time is a great seasonal trigger to remind me to see where I’ve come short, and then to make a plan to TRULY change that process.
I thought I knew the principle of repentance. After all, I’ve been apologizing to God on for decades. But regret without a re-turning is like dry yeast without warm water and sugar, like Peter without Paul and Mary, like H without 2-0.
My perspective on change “changed” when I read a little book by Mike Breen and Steve Cockram called “Building a Discipling Culture.” Seriously revolutionary! It’s available at www.weare3dm.com. Breen and Cockram helped me see how fun and projective repentance can be. That’s right. I actually said that. Repentance is fun! There’s joy set before us when we walk through the disciplines of change.
More on this tomorrow. For now, let’s talk change. I’d love to hear your stories – even your struggles – to bring genuine transformation in your life. How have you turned good intentions into plans of action? Maybe you’ve made a New Year resolution – to “repent” and you’ve developed a strategy to bring that about. Hop on my Facebook page and offer your story and suggestions for the other half of repentance: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Jill-Herringshaw/243379225672172?sk