Tuesday, January 5, 2010

New Year Resolution

I’m not really much of a “New Year’s resolution” kind of guy. Are you?
I suppose that such resolutions have their place and can serve some good purposes, but they’ve never been too important to me. Maybe some deep-seated cynicism within me is trying to protect me from setting myself up for disappointment or something. Who knows?
It has always fascinated me though, how so many people focus so much on one little tick on the clock when our calendars change from one year to the next. They seem to really grasp at straws for the hope of a “do over” in some area (or areas) of their lives. “It’s a brand new year! The past is behind and I can start with a clean slate!”
But . . .
What about that mortgage, car payment, or credit card bill? What about that project you left on your desk at work on December 31st? What about those extra twenty pounds? What about that leaky faucet in the guest bathroom? What about the argument you had with your son on Christmas? What about that homeless guy under the bridge?
Do those things go away or start with a clean slate just because we went from 11:59 p.m. on December 31st to 12:00 a.m. on January 1st?
The reality is that there’s not much in this life that stops being what it is one second and then becomes something brand new the next. There isn’t much that disappears and will no longer burden us just because the clock went ‘tick tock’.
But - you know what did? Here’s a hint: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” (2 Cor. 5:17)
Have you ever thought much about that? It’s really a wondrous mystery how that happens and it’s certainly beyond my explanation. But what is clear to me is that upon accepting Christ we do not become turbo-charged versions of our old self; we are not updated and improved; and we’re not “made over,” enhanced, or strengthened.
No, we’re NEW CREATIONS!! Completely new! We became something we weren’t before (and could never have become on our own).
However, unlike “New Year’s” revelers who want to pretend a new year makes all things new and leaves all the old behind, we become completely new and then we keep reaching back to our old self to bring it along for the ride. What sense does that make? We’ve been made a new creation, yet we drag the old with us into our new life!
And that just ain’t right.
The God of all creation has made me a new creation, for His purposes, by taking up residence within me (Gal. 2:20, Col. 1:27, 1 John 4:12). And then I keep dredging up the old me. I keep thinking I can ‘resolve’ to improve upon and make the old me acceptable to God to some way.
I’m tired of it. God deserves better.
The old me is gone and could never be made acceptable. He made a new me and He did what I couldn’t have ever done – made a new, acceptable me. So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. (Romans 8:1, NLT)

So, . . . I resolve to leave the old self behind and focus on perfecting the new life to which He has called me. I resolve to make this new creation submissive to its Creator; to more fully trust the Most Trustworthy One.
And I resolve that this resolution will not fade away with the passing of time. Because some things, like the new life He has given me, are eternal.

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