Saturday, December 31, 2016
Are You Using New Year's Resolutions To Pacify Behaviors and Issues Better Addressed During the Year?
And so we begin today knowing that tomorrow looms etherially on the horizon as the start of a new year waiting to greet us at the midnight chime of the clock.
For centuries, human beings have made the "new year" a holiday to itself. The age old renderings of 'baby New Year' assure us that we humans, we mere mortals, can redirect our lives at that point in time and begin again anew for yet another year.
As I have aged, I have begun to dislike this objectification of the year's change. Oh, I'm not going to advocate any kind of celebratory restriction, but I have a point I'd like to make here.
Any professing Christian should be able to articulate that our ultimate goal is to accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior and the son of God on earth and from that, begin a life anew including a life of service to our fellow man, evangelism and a belief in the Word of God (the Bible). Through the reading of God's word and the process of self-introspection that should come with it, we grow in our faith. This growth radiates out from us into our daily lives, touching those around us.
There is only one problem here: we're HUMAN. We yell at our kids, we ignore our parents, we say mean things to others - we cheat on spouses, abuse alcohol or drugs - we break from the Word, we fall.
This can happen any time of the year (day or moment). I imagine none of us consciously overlook unChristian behavior and say to ourselves, "things will be better next year - I'll make a new start next year", but do we subconsciously?
I'm fairly certain all practicing Christians realize we should stop any inconsistent-with-our-Christianity behaviors IMMEDIATELY, falling on our face in repentance and realizing an IMMEDIATE change in attitude and I'm also fairly certain this happens consistently - in the case of larger issues. But what about the smaller ones?
What if you over-spent your budget throughout the year on a consistent basis for one reason or another. Did you think to yourself, "We're almost to the end of the year, I'll just do better next year", instead of stopping right then and there and doing whatever you can to rectify the issue? I have. What about this one; "I know I'm not spending enough time in the Word, but next year I will." I have said those exact words to myself instead of stopping right then and making every effort to do what I can to change my schedule to accommodate my needed Bible study.
Maybe, by looking at the New Year as a chance to 'start over', we're in point of fact using it as a means by which to pacify ourselves in some of our inconsistent behaviors during the course of the year. It's not a great boost in the ego to realize those times when we succumb to bad behavior but it's very, very easy to say, "next year...".
I don't remember the last time I made a "new year's resolution". I don't want to resolve to take care of a problem at a certain time of the year, I want to address problems, goals and issues as they arise during the year, not put off tackling them at another time because it's too - fill-in-the-blank - to do right then. I'm not saying I'm always successful in my efforts, but I will say I do consistently consider this my aim.
So, for those of you who make New Year's Resolutions and enjoy the ringing in of the New Year, GREAT! I'm not here to rain on your parade, I'm just suggesting you give a thought to how this 'holiday' might be affecting your thinking throughout the year.
Fortunately, we are NEW IN CHRIST every day we get up accepting him as the Lord of our lives. Let's expand on that idea of new every day as a means of dealing with every situation we encounter throughout the year and not wait for a holiday to provide our impetus for change!