As we enter the new year, many of us will no doubt make new year resolutions. Some will desire to lose weight. Others will want to get a better handle on their finances. And others will want to improve other areas of their lives such as family, employment, and the pursuit of happiness. No doubt that the turn of the calendar is a perfect opportunity for a fresh start.
Fresh starts provide the chance to start anew and perhaps improve our lives. But we should always remember that often these plans do not work out. Why? Because they are usually rooted on our own desires and power. But God offers us something better than a self-help plan: He offers us His Son, Jesus. As the Apostle Paul reminds us, in Christ, we are made new! Not simply a makeover but a whole “new creation”! We are made complete, fresh, and new to live for God’s kingdom and plan! When we make new year resolutions, often they never actually last. We plan to work out more, so we get a gym membership and then come February we never use it again. We plan to improve our diet and life gets in the way. There is the desire to change our habits, but we find it difficult. Changing a bad habit is very difficult. This is where Jesus comes in. Paul reminds us that in Jesus, we are made new. And our lives are changed. Not by making new year resolutions but by the death and resurrection of Jesus! Our old self is crucified with Christ (Galatians 2:20) and we are raised to new life in Jesus. Yes, living into our new life is not always easy but it is possible by trusting in Jesus! Being a new a creation does not depend on our new year resolution but on the Good News of Jesus Christ! In order to make effective change, we start one day at a time. The key is that if we do stumble, we keep it and keep going. This is why many do not finish their new year resolutions.
So, in this new year may we make only one resolution: to trust Jesus for everything and let Him change us each day!