Thursday, February 25, 2016

2016 Resolutions: Compensations

Maybe it’s part of the Judeo-Christian work ethic; but whenever we work hard at something—whether it’s a home improvement project, a school- or work-related assignment, or even volunteer work—we expect there to be some sort of compensation, some benefits. Some anticipated rewards include the satisfaction of completing home-related upgrades, an award related to our studies, a career promotion, or being acknowledged and appreciated for volunteer work. Furthermore, the Bible contains numerous verses that refer to having the right attitude and receiving compensation for hard work (e.g., whatever we do should be done for Christ--see Colossians 3:17, 23-24; and 1 Corinthians 10:31). 

However, Scriptures support the fact that there are benefits to having goals, even before we actually begin working on them: ‘Where there is no vision, the people perish,” (Proverbs 29:18, King James Version). Thus, goals are essential, because they provide focus (i.e., “vision”) and direction in our lives. 
Goals also increase our self-esteem, help us feel better about ourselves, and provide motivation. Another consideration is that we choose goals to bring more balance, more peace into our lives. The peace we seek is nurtured and grows when our goals include the self-care that we need to have equilibrium in our day-to-day lives.

What are some of the additional rewards of reaching our goals? There are general compensations (e.g., becoming more committed to taking charge of our lives). We also become stronger as we learn from our failures or mistakes and expand and get help from other resources (e.g., Linkedin and other Internet sites). There are also benefits associated with the specific goals we each have chosen. As we review the top annual resolutions we discover that many of them are focused on physical health concerns, but humans are not exclusively physical beings. In fact, every area of our multi-dimensional lives (heart, soul, mind, and strength—see Luke 10:27) is interconnected. So when we suffer we do so in all areas of our lives. By the same token, when we are healthy in one area of our lives, we discover that we are also are doing well in the other parts. This reality is akin to the analogy that the Apostle Paul used regarding how the human body functions and the similarity to the functioning of the Body of Christ (see 1 Corinthians 12). In other words, improvement in one area spills over to benefit other areas of our lives. To illustrate, research shows that the benefits of walking from 30-60 minutes daily strengthens and increases blood flow to the heart; bones get stronger; heart rate is lowered; fat in the blood is reduced; weight is decreased; blood pressure is maintained in a healthy range; better sleep; quicker healing from illnesses and injuries; improvement in cholesterol levels; and a longer lifespan. Knowing the extensive benefits of walking is a good way to motivate ourselves to continue pursuing our goals of improved health, for example.

 Remember: The goals that we choose are selected to bring balance to our lives. And while there are benefits associated with reaching our goals, don’t wait until you have completed a goal. Celebrate the process, and reward yourself as you finish the successful steps along the way to achieving your ultimate goal.

The time has passed quickly! In this "2016 Resolutions" series, we have covered the Introduction, Choices, Changes, Challenges, and now, Compensations. The series will come to a close next week with the Conclusion.]

Elizabeth Hogan Hayduk
Former Salvation Army Officer (pastor)


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