A New WHO?
Nearly half of the people in the US make New Year’s resolutions. Not me. I haven’t made them for quite a while, actually. It’s not that I don’t need to improve upon myself, or that I’m so delusional I don’t think I need to do so.
It’s more about rebelling against the mainstream. An estimated 45 percent of Americans reportedly make them every year.
Surprisingly (or not) only 8 percent of Americans actually keep their New Year’s resolutions. That’s according to statistics released by the University of Scranton. The report also stated the top three goals for 2014 are:
- Lose weight
- Get organized
- Save more, spend less
Ooooh. I still need help with numbers two and three. But resolutions? Ugh.
On Sunday, however, during the first sermon of the year at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, I reconsidered. Pastor Dennis Fakes proposed making New YOU, instead of New YEAR, resolutions.
Hmmmm… I’m listening.
Fakes suggested that instead of jotting down traditional lists, we follow a “New Me” approach. While he shared this as it relates to faith, it could apply to any area of our lives.
He spelled out what he means by NEW ME:
- Now — Don’t wait for tomorrow. Now is the time to strengthen your relationship with God and become a better disciple in faith. Now is always the time—to stop smoking, hit that first AA meeting, create and follow a budget—no matter where you are in the calendar year.
- Exceptions — No exceptions or excuses. It’s so easy to think, ‘No one will miss me this one Sunday.’ While Church isn’t crucial for everyone’s spiritual life, it’s an important part of my walk. Each service is like a bridge that leads me closer to God.
- Witness — We should share the Bible’s good news with others and ask others to hold us accountable in our faith and service.
- Mantra — Create a phrase that replaces old, unhealthy beliefs and repeat it over and over again until it becomes your new reality. Examples: I am a faithful Church-goer; I love my enemies; I forgive freely; I love wholeheartedly. Or maybe even, “I love vegetables!”
- Envision — If we can picture ourselves as spiritually solid, forgiving, and loving individuals committed to doing God’s will, we’re halfway there. How effective this can be in working toward other goals: Picture yourself physically fit, in a job you love, financially secure, or all of the above.
As Pastor Dennis said, God loves us so much that he loves us just as we are. But he loves us too much to leave us just as we are.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! (2 Cor. 5:17)
I’m shooting for a New ME in 2014. Because I believe God loves me that much.