It is now the time when we look at our life and make some decisions that will allow us to say that next year things will be different. They are called resolutions, New Year’s resolutions. Decisions we make that we hope will bring about a new reality – one that is different than they one that we are facing at the end of the old year, 2014. You know, lose weight, go to the gym three or four times a week, live within your means and thus retire your credit cards by such-and-such a date, go to Hawaii for a holiday, drink and smoke less, and find a different job or career.
For those who are Christian – read three chapters of the Bible every day, spend time in prayer daily, make it to small group and the worship assembly each week except when out of town; learn how to share the gospel with others and share it with someone once a week; tithe faithfully, and journal your journey as inadequate as it may appear to you on an average day. For those who are more enthusiastic – add a mission trip overseas to a foreign nation and the adoption of a child through one of the Christian “save a child” funds.
The problem with both of these sets of New Year’s resolutions is that they are simply “wishes” that will never come true. Statistics and surveys show that people’s good intentions at this time of the year (between over eating and over drinking / between Christmas and New Years) simply don’t pan out because their resolution to change is only skin deep – it is a surface desire that does not come from the heart. And all permanent and beneficial change comes from the heart, the inside. The Bible states that this is the centre of life.
So, as we approach the start of a new year we need to be looking a little deeper than some external niceties that would make life easier, better, more comfortable, convenient, and more enjoyable. We need to look at the root issues of life – our thoughts, our motives, our desires (lusts), our character. Why? Because these are foundational to who we are. These are issues of our “being” and not our “doing” or “getting.”
But, we often avoid looking in this direction because we know we will not like what we see. We tend to avoid dealing with inside issues because they are hard work with little immediate results. We go for the surface things because we believe and really think that if we successfully change these things we will be happy, safe, secure, and comfortable. This may be true – but you won’t be satisfied and fulfilled on the inside. This only comes to the brave who take the plunge and look at who they have become. It is only the adventurous who look at the “be” and stop changing all the “do’s.”
This year – this week – as we approach the turn of the calendar into the new year of the Lord 2015 take some time and begin to look deep inside. With God’s help – no matter the condition of your heart and soul – you can change and see substantial progress during 2015 towards being a caring, compassionate Christian who is making a sincere and deep difference in your world. A world-changer.
But remember, if you always do what you have always done, you will always get what you have aways gotten. Poor English but true nonetheless.