Last December 31st, I made a resolution to give up fast food for the New Year. YEAH RIGHT. Pretty sure I went to McDonald’s like, a week later. The year before that I decided that I was going to wake up every morning and work out before I started my day. HA. Anyone who’s aware of how much I love sleeping in knows that this resolution didn’t last longer than a few days!
The art of New Year resolution-making dates back to about 3,000 years ago with the ancient Babylonians. Even back then, the upcoming New Year was a reminder of new beginnings and a fresh start to things!
Whether we like to admit it or not, we enjoy seeing how we can make the upcoming new year better than the last. We want to be more financially stable, more productive, spend more time with family, etc. But the most common New Year’s resolution for many, many years has always been to lose weight and maintain a healthier lifestyle. Don’t believe me? Check out the produce section at your local Wal-mart come the first week of January. I can almost guarantee you – it’ll be nearly empty every time! And don’t even think about getting privacy at the gym – it’s going to be packed until at least February! But how many of these resolutions do we actually keep? Or, how many of them are just for show, and don’t really have anything to do with how we want to improve ourselves?
“Training your body helps you in some ways, but serving God helps you in every way by bringing you blessings in this life and in the future life, too.” – 1 Timothy 4:8
Today’s the last day of 2014. Hopefully you’ve learned more, grown a lot and done all that you were capable of doing this year. But how can 2015 be different? I think it’s great that so many of us want to be more healthy and fit, but hold that thought for a second. Let’s think past all the stuff that eventually won’t matter and think about what’s going to last. How can we grow to become more like Christ this year? We say we love Him, and sing that we’ve decided we want to follow in His footsteps, but what are we doing about it? Here are a couple of simple suggestions I’ve come up with that could help you far more than that killer six-pack you’re hoping to get in a few months!
- Be available. Christ knew that His whole life was dedicated to doing what the Father asked of Him, and His life showed it. Wake up in the morning and ask God what He’d like you to do that day. He’ll make it apparent to you.
- Speak up. Jesus Christ would often get away from the crowds and spend time alone with the Father. So talk to God every day. Talk to Him while you wash the dishes or take your dog out for a walk. Read from the Bible so that God can also speak to you! Schedule everything else in your life around your time with Him rather than vice versa.
- Consider others. Christ’s example of service (even towards complete strangers!) is one that even non-Christians recognize as exemplary! Could you serve at least one person every day this year? Think of creative ways to do so – get to know those around you and take care of them with the resources you have!
- Don’t fear being different. Christ was in no way ANYTHING like those around Him. He was completely set apart, and living a life that so many found totally weird. But He didn’t care about popularity. And you shouldn’t either. If you’re compromising what you know is right in God’s eyes for the sake of your friends or status quo, just know that while your friendships won’t last forever, God does.
I could add much more to this list, but it’s your turn. Do yourself a favor and spend a few minutes today focusing on how you can honor God more in 2015. Your health routines and athleticism may carry you to your 60’s lookin’ pretty amazing. But I can guarantee you that your glorified body in Heaven will be much more attractive anyways. And you know what? It lasts forever too.