It’s that time of year again…back to school for the second semester after a couple of weeks off for the holidays for some folks and simply the first full week of the new year for others. What is it about the calendar flipping from one year to the next that makes some of us all nostalgic…looking back at the past year and making resolutions for the upcoming one? I have to admit, I’m not big on making “New Years resolutions.” I’m not sure why. I like setting goals.
Maybe it’s because I don’t want to be told when I have to set them…or maybe it’s simply because the reality is that a day has passed and not a whole year. Yes, quite a bit has changed since last January, but not much has changed since 5 days ago. I’m still me. You’re still you. I know that if I only think about setting goals to better myself once a year, I won’t get much accomplished. Understand I’m not bad-mouthing new years resolutions here. They can be healthy things and spur us on for sure. If that is something that helps in your life, by all means have at it!
There was a passage of Scripture a friend reminded me of this past Christmas season. If you were at the New Years Celebration with us at The Bridge, you got to hear it. It is Luke 2:52 which says, “And Jesus increased in wisdom and in statureand in favor with God and man” (Luke 2:52, ESV). Luke the historian had just finished speaking about Jesus’ boyhood life and he ends the chapter with that statement. The next we hear about what’s going on in the life of Jesus from Luke, Jesus is 30 years old! That was the bridge Luke used to go from Jesus’ boyhood to that point in time. All of that time (not just yearly), Jesus was “increasing in wisdom, and in stature, and in favor with God and man.”
What if we were to take that same attitude for the “long periods” of our lives…working to increase in wisdom (going back to school, spending time with folks wiser than us, reading books, etc), in stature (exercising to be healthier, eating well, sleeping enough), in favor with God (spending time with Him in relationship, speaking to Him in prayer, reading His word, allowing Him to lead us even when it is tough or painful) and man (building relationships with our friends, family, neighbors, coworkers…being good to them just because)? What if?
That takes a lot more than a simple resolution for the new year. That is a conscious decision to live in a way that is different than yesterday. And 15 years from now…we still won’t be Jesus but we won’t be making goals out of guilt or false hope…it will be because of the deep love for God and others we’ve been developing in our daily lives.
Be a witness,