Last week saw the old year 2015 slip away from us. Actually we never had it to begin with, did we? Such is the way of things. As we get older it seems the days, weeks, and years, fly on by. Plans and dreams we intended to realize or put into effect in the previous year may or may not have been fulfilled. Yet each new year gives us a good reason and opportunity to start over with a clean slate.
Here are some resolutions I think are worth at least striving for. The list is by no means comprehensive. Just consider it a good starting point:
Pay more attention to things that matter: Bible reading, prayer, participation in church services and programs, being a good neighbor no matter what. We are children of the Day (1 Thess. 5:5-11). Let’s walk in the light of it as God’s elect.
Keep a tight rein on the tongue. Hold it when necessary, loose it when useful. It can render help or hurt, praise or poison, grace or slander, love or hate. Be mindful that all of us will give account to God concerning its use, and abuse, on Judgment Day (Matthew 12:36). Let’s ask ourselves if what we mean to say to someone about others builds them up in their eyes or tears them down. Then we can make a righteous decision on whether to say it or not.
Look for the good, the best, in others and yourself. It is so easy to find fault, even within ourselves. God made us in His image (Genesis 1:26-27). That alone is testimony to our worth and value to Him as it should be to one another. People who consistently keep a negative view of others can never truly be happy in this world. They, above all people, should be pitied. Don’t be like them.
Stop making excuses. No matter what it is: ill behavior, apathy, foul language, bad habits, unwise associations, absenteeism, etc. Excuses are for losers and faithful Christians are anything but that. Correct what needs correcting and move out with renewed zeal in the Lord’s service (1 Corinthians 11:31).
Be the best you can be at whatever you can do. God has given us all different skills, talents, and abilities (Romans 12:4-8). He expects us to use them for His glory and the good of others. If you cannot decide what it is you can do, ask God for wisdom (James 1:5). He will show you the way.
Try doing something you have never done before, or have been afraid to do. Sometimes we make a monster out of something that turns out to be a teddy bear after we do it. The old saying, “You never know until you try” is both true and wise. How can we say we cannot do something before we even try? Who knows, we might surprise ourselves and others when we do! Ask God to give you strength, courage, and ability and trust that He will. We can do more than we think we can if we rely upon Him.
Nothing about these is new. You may be doing them already. If so, keep up the good work! The Lord will not forget it (1 Corinthians 15:58; Hebrews 6:10); the world will be better for it, and so will the church. May God bless us in the doing of His will each and every day of every year.