The transition from an old year into a new year provides a chance for all sorts of changes. Many people will use this opportunity to change their eating habits, their workout habits, their financial tendencies, or they will seize this opportunity to give up a bad habit. Ultimately, the move from an old year into another year is a great chance to make some real, lasting changes.
Have you taken the time to consider some of your New Year’s resolutions for this year? Perhaps you’re one of the millions of people who don’t even participate in the old tradition of trying to make some personal changes. For many people, the decision to pass on resolutions for the new year stems from the fact that they’ve tried to make resolutions in the past, and they’ve never really panned out.
What if 2022 could be the start of a completely new you? What if it were possible for you to make some lifechanging decisions that could lead to a new life for you starting with the arrival of a new year?
If you’ve tried and failed some New Year’s resolutions in the past, don’t feel bad. Most of the traditional New Year’s resolutions that people make don’t survive until the month of March. That means, within 60 days at most, many New Year’s resolutions are forgotten.
If you have wasted money on gym memberships, home workout equipment, or other things that pertained to a New Year’s resolution in the past, consider making some changes that don’t cost you anything. The key to becoming a new you in the new year relates to the spiritual. To make things even better, the price for these transformations has already been paid.
Committing to a Relationship with Christ
Romans 10:9-11 (TPT)
And what is God’s “living message”? It is the revelation of faith for salvation, which is the message that we preach. For if you publicly declare with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will experience salvation. The heart that believes in him receives the gift of righteousness of God-and then the mouth confesses, resulting in salvation. For the Scriptures encourage us with these words: “Everyone who believes in him will never be disappointed.”
Do you have a real relationship with God through the sacrifice made by Jesus Christ? If not, taking that step to start the new year would be a great way to become a new person going forward. Before you quickly assume that the answer to that question is yes, spend some time in careful self-examination, and ask yourself if you’re truly living a life that indicates that you’re in a relationship with Him.
First of all, have you made a public confession of your faith in Jesus Christ? This doesn’t mean that you have to stand up in front of a church and list everything that you’ve ever done wrong. In fact, making a public declaration of your faith doesn’t involve standing up in front of a crowd and saying anything. Instead, the Bible simply says that you have to tell someone about your decision to follow Christ.
If you’ve done that in the past, it’s still important that you are living in a way that reflects your commitment to Christ. When a man and a woman are married, the concept of being in a loving relationship goes far beyond a wedding day when they make a public declaration of their commitment. It’s even more important that both parties are living their lives in a way that reflects that commitment.
Does your life reflect your relationship with Christ to others around you? Do you exhibit the fruits of the Spirit listed in Galatians 5:22-23? If the answer to those questions is no, a new year provides a powerful opportunity for you to take the step necessary to begin living a life that shows your commitment to Christ. If your relationship with Him has never taken the next step, embrace the newness of the new year.
Are You Showing Your Faith?
James 2:14-17 (TPT)
My dear brothers and sisters, what good is it if someone claims to have faith but demonstrates no good works to prove it? How could this kind of faith save anyone? For example, if a brother or sister in the faith is poorly clothed and hungry and you leave them saying, “Good-bye. I hope you stay warm and have plenty to eat,” but you don’t provide them with a coat or even a cup of soup, what good is your faith? So then faith that doesn’t involve action is phony.
If your relationship with Christ is real, but you’re not doing anything for other people, James (the half-brother of Jesus) puts that faith into question. The Book of James is largely considered a book of foundational truths for Christians. The things that he laid out in his epistle are just as applicable to us as they were to the Christians who received his letter.
James didn’t pull any punches in this passage of Scripture, and if we’re being honest, his words can make us a bit uncomfortable. However, it’s important that we determine how well our faith journey lines up with the commands of James.
Are you doing things for other people? Regardless of where you live, there are people around you who are in need. One of the most important aspects of being a real Christian is doing things for the people around you who aren’t as fortunate as you are. In the new year, spend some time looking for opportunities to serve others. Taking the time to help others not only indicates that your faith is genuine, but it also helps you to better understand how much God has truly blessed you.
Finding Your Purpose
Jeremiah 1:4-5 (ESV)
Now the word of the Lord came to me, saying, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.
Finally, becoming a new you in the new year involves finding your God-given purpose. Before you were born, God had a beautiful design for your life. He knew exactly what you would be good at, what special traits and abilities you would have, and He gave you those traits for a reason. You were made to expand the Kingdom of God.
Have you ever really discovered and embraced your purpose? If you don’t know your purpose, spend some time in prayer and Bible study trying to identify it. If that doesn’t provide the answer, talk to your pastor and see if they have any insight about things that you could start doing in your local church.
Once you figure out your God-given purpose, it’s equally important that you truly embrace it. When you find what God wants you to do with your life, it’s one of the most exciting revelations that you will ever come across. Embrace your purpose and then start making decisions and taking steps that further it.
The new year can provide you with an opportunity to become a better version of yourself. While there is certainly nothing wrong with making resolutions that pertain to personal health and wellness, financial improvement, and other practical upgrades, it’s even more important that you take the steps to improve your spiritual life going forward. Doing so not only ensures that you’re living the kind of life that God wants you to live, it also allows you to be a blessing to the people around you.
A Closing Prayer:
Lord, help me to embrace the newness of the new year in an effort to become the best version of myself that I can be. Help me to understand if there are areas in my life that are not in complete subjection to You. Finally, help me to not only discover the purpose that You have for my life, but also to embrace it so I can play my part in Your Kingdom. In Christ’s name I ask these things, Amen.