A New Way to View New Year's Resolutions
posted by: Aaron Barker
Growing up, New Year’s Eve was not a big deal to me; it was simply the turning of the clock and the beginning of another month. As I got older and learned the value of a good mulligan, the holiday took on another meaning; one that is stoked each time “Auld Lang Syne” is sung by groups of friends.
I suppose these feelings aren’t exclusive to only me. Ask anyone what their New Year’s resolutions are and you’ll hear myriad answers ranging from weight loss to being a better person or parent to working less or even making more money. Don’t wait too long to ask that icebreaker, though; statistics say that the majority of New Year's resolutions - 80% - will be broken by the second week of February. It’s a tough break for those of us who were looking forward to the refreshing New Year celebration and the chance to start over once again.
What if we looked at New Years in a different light? What if we made a conscious decision to reach towards specific life goals rather than yearly ones?
Paul the Apostle shows us his heart in Philippians 3:12-14:
“Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus,” (emphasis mine).
What is it that Paul wants to make his own? Something so amazing must be on his mind that he is forgetting all that he has accomplished and is reaching towards the future. In the preceding verses he tells us his life goal:
“Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord,” (vs. 3, emphasis mine).
Paul was not only willing but desired to count everything in his life as a complete loss just to know Jesus Christ in the power of His resurrection. Having this aspiration came from a deep gratitude towards our Savior because Jesus gave His own life to make us His own possession.
This is the very reason why we strive to make ourselves better; not because we would look great in that black dress; not because our retirement fund could use some extra dollars. Self-improvement is taking the talents God has sovereignly given us and honing them to become useful tools for His glory.
Beloved, let us not be so short-sighted that we look only to yearly goals. Rather, let our hearts gravitate in the direction of becoming more like our Savior every day. Jesus Christ has redeemed us and adopted us into His family so that our lives would be a shining example of the surpassing glory of God. Regardless of your position in life, press towards the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
Let today be the day we shift our thinking from ourselves to Christ-honoring, God-focused, radical Christian living.
Soli Deo Gloria,
Article by Aaron Barker, Administrative Director of Potter’s Ranch. Aaron is also the host of “The Breakdown, a fast-paced, dynamic talk radio show that is full of life – Eternal Life, that is.” His blog is at www.breakdradio.com.
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