CHURCH CORNER: Change not a result of wishful thinking

Any idea yet on how the new year is going to treat you? Better? Worse? Or is it too soon to tell? Ever wonder why we think that the change of a number on a calendar is going to make everything different?

  • Monday, February 8, 2010 6:59pm
  • Opinion

By Marcus Kelly

New Life Foursquare

Any idea yet on how the new year is going to treat you? Better? Worse? Or is it too soon to tell? Ever wonder why we think that the change of a number on a calendar is going to make everything different? Like the cosmos will know that it’s a new year and decide to be nice to you now. Somehow, through happy thoughts and wishful thinking, life will get better.

Unfortunately as I look back on my life, I’ve come to realize this type of hocus pocus thinking rarely makes a difference. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for positive confession – but I don’t rely on that alone. So what can make 2010 better?

Recently I was listening to a podcast of a respected minister. He was talking about wisdom vs. wishful thinking. I have to admit I’ve had to re-evaluate some of my own mindsets. Honestly, I was rather disappointed in what I found.

Here is what he pointed out. Wishful thinking doesn’t bring a change to negative behavior or choices in one’s life. Wisdom, on the other hand, does.

Wishful thinking tends to lead us into a fantasy land – where we continue to live life the way we have been, but everything magically gets better. We lose weight without changing our diet or increasing our exercise. We become a great parent while never being involved in our childrens’ lives. We find a good, loving and caring person to marry and raise a family with by merely seeking opportunities for one-night stands. As wonderful as these things sound, they’re just not reality.

In life we need wisdom. Each one of us strays from wisdom from time to time. In Proverbs 12:1 it says, “Whoever loves instruction loves knowledge, but he who hates correction is stupid.” The problem isn’t necessarily straying from wisdom. No, the issue is what do we do once we know we’ve strayed. Will we continue in wishful thinking or will we allow wisdom to teach and correct us?

Wisdom understands when we’ve fallen short of our goals. Take weight for instance. Maybe we’ve put on a few – or more than a few – extra pounds. Wisdom tells us that we should set a goal and make some changes in our diet and/or exercise plan. Wisdom tells a father who wants to be a great dad not to work the overtime but get home for dinner and have storytime with his kids. Wisdom encourages those with destructive behaviors, like sleeping around or excessive partying, to change their behavior before it leads to lifelong health and wholeness issues.

Wishful thinking says it sure would be nice if the car turned at the corner, while wisdom…turns the wheel. I’ve learned over time to always appreciate when someone brings this kind of thinking bluntly to my face. Often, it can irritate my ego but I’ve found a bruised ego is better than being an idiot.

Don’t let your pride stop you from making the necessary changes this year. 2010 doesn’t care if you have a great year or a terrible year. God does! He has given us the ability to make good decisions and bring correction to our paths. Wishful thinking won’t bring you out of debt but wise stewardship can.

Let’s leave wishful thinking to children and birthday cakes. My hope and prayer for every one of us is that we spend 2010 bringing correction into our lives through the wisdom God brings to us. I know that it will make big changes for your life.

More in Opinion

U.S., Russia agree on Middle East situation

Since Russia helped Syria’s Bashar al-Assad stay in power and helped to defeat ISIS, are Russia and the U.S. at odds in the Middle East? Is Russia threatening American dominance in the region? The answer to both is no.

Page-turners: Best books of 2017

Continuing an end-of-year tradition that dates back more than 15 years, the King County Library System has chosen its Best Books of 2017.

Anthem protests about equality, not disrespect

For all who write negative comments about the football players who took a knee and posted that “this is not the America we grew up in,” let me share a few of the personal events from my life growing up in Tacoma Washington as a white woman.

Trump supporters’ attitude still the same

“Support Trump? Sure,” she said. “I like him.” These words by Pam Shilling from Trump Country western Pennsylvania reflect what many Trump supporters are thinking a year after the 2016 election victory, according to an article excerpted from “” by “The Week” (Dec. 1, 2017).

Readers note: Change in comments section

The Courier-Herald has switched to a different online reader-comments platform.

Former fan finished with disrespectful NFL players

I lived off the grid for 15 years and the one thing I missed the most was watching pro football.

Carrying firearms about to change at the state Capitol

If you come to the state Capitol and want to see lawmakers in action, there are a few rules to follow while sitting in the galleries overlooking the Senate and the House floors.

America’s monster

I’m not sure when it happened, but I recently realized I’ve stopped asking myself, “What are we going to do about mass shootings and gun violence in this country?” Instead, I now ask, “When is the carnage going to come to Enumclaw?”

Avoiding loss means more than gaining something else

Some studies have shown that losses are twice as psychologically powerful as gains. American history and our current political situation help reveal a great deal about the American/human psyche.

Congratulations, Jan Molinaro

In every election, one person must win and the other will lose. Now more than ever, it is important to show our children how to be gracious in victory and humble in defeat.

Don’t give into the pressure of driving drowsy

Eleven years ago, a drowsy-driving car wreck left me with injuries that still challenge me today.

Opening our minds can be a beautiful thing

As a leader of my church’s Sunday Adult Forum, I had a goal: to put a human face on Islam for the members of the congregation and community.