A New Year is an exciting time because with the New Year comes new opportunities, new people to meet, new chances to continue the Lord’s work, but most importantly the chance to start over fresh. The idea behind a New Year’s resolution is you want to make a positive change in your life. There is unfortunately an inside joke about when people make New Year’s resolutions they will break them within a few months- if not weeks- of trying. That is beside the point though. The idea of getting a chance to start over again to become better is a wonderful philosophy. As Christians we should always be trying to become better or more “perfect”. “But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord” (2 Corinthians 3:18). Paul had a similar thought in Galatians 4:19, “My little children, for whom I labor in birth again until Christ is formed in you.” The idea is that we are being formed or shaped more into the image of Christ as time goes on. The wonderful thing about a New Year is that we get the chance to reflect on our lives and think about what we have accomplished, what we have struggled with, and what we would like to improve in the future.
The thing about the New Year, however, is that it is somewhat deceptive. We may fall into the trap of thinking that we need to wait until the New Year for us to make a positive change. I’ve witnessed this in going to the gym as well. Anyone who goes to the gym or works at one will tell you when its the beginning of the New Year memberships will surge for about a month and then the majority of those people who resolved to get into better shape will start slipping and stop going altogether. This happens every year. When thinking about this illustration I could not help but think of 1 Timothy 4:8, “For bodily exercise profits a little, but godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come.” There are benefits for being in better physical condition; taking care of our vessels that God blessed us with, but there are much more important things we can work to improve.
The Christian need not wait until the New Year to evaluate and resolve to make change. Although somewhat away from the context, I love reading 1 Corinthians 15:31, “I affirm, by the boasting in you which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily.” Paul was under constant threat of dying for the cause of Christ, and no doubt this affected the way he thought about his life. If we knew for certain that this was our last year on Earth, how would we live differently? Would we be more patient, more caring, more anxious to share the gospel? The Christian does not have to wait until January 1st to change their lives, we can start fresh every morning. Let’s resolve to be the best we can be as long as the Lord allows us to live.