A Perfect Fit for the New Year

Most of us are hoping that the New Year begins with newness and continues that way the whole year through. We want new relationships, new joys, new and better circumstances, and new accomplishments. With all this newness, it’s only fitting that we take a good long and honest look at ourselves. We need to examine if we’re measuring up to all the newness we expect. Celebrating New Years is about gratitude and reflection, but it is also about progress. We’re thankful for life and living, and many of us reflect on the past with both sadness and repentance. We’re also thankful that we were blessed to see another year, and we’re excited to see what the new year holds. There’s no doubt that we expect the year before us to be better than the one behind us. It’s a time to shed the old skin, so to speak. This begs us to ask ourselves if we’ve grown enough to fit the new skin that is required to embrace the life we want.   

A distinctive characteristic among all sold-out believers is our desire to grow in Christ. Every believer should understand that God has a standard we must meet, and the whole of it is summed up in Christ. Most of us are doing our best to please God, but for some of us, life hasn’t been easy and we’re questioning if anything will change. We’ve had heaps of disappointments and sadness, with loads of folks devaluing us, or worse, not even acknowledging we’re in the room. The emptiness has been there so long that it just feels comfortable now. You feel as though no one respects the treasure of all that you are, and for the longest time, it seems that most have conspired to quash you. So, when your mind and heart have been battered on your job, in your relationship, in your family, and life in general, changing anything about yourself can seem like another setup for disappointment.

Even so, with all our lack of enthusiasm and distrust, like everyone else, New Year’s gives us a glimmer of hope. We can and should capitalize on that. The old adage says that you can’t keep doing the same things and expect something new. There’s some truth to this. The Christian life involves continual maintenance and effort. And yes, change is a necessary component of the Christian life. It’s the changes we make to line up with the mind and heart of Christ that cause us to grow. Anything that ceases to grow will die; it will implode upon itself or decline and decrease from a lack of nourishment. This image fits our spiritual well-being as well. If we fail to nourish our minds, hearts, and souls with the truth of God’s Word, we will be spiritually malnourished and lack the flexibility necessary to live according to God’s Will. None of us should want this.

Renewing our minds requires us to change the way we think. It involves examining some of the beliefs we’ve harbored, because some of those beliefs could be holding us back. God tells us in Romans 12:2(NLT), “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” We need to give ourselves an eternal break from the negativity and step away from putting ourselves down and believing the worse about others. Even if negative thoughts and attitudes are a result of all that we’ve gone through, we still must cut them loose, because they put up a wall between us and the life God wants us to live.

God commands us to let Him transform us into a new person, and we partner with Him in this makeover by changing the way we think. We desperately need this. Our Heavenly Father designed the life of a believer to be a process of renewal that is continuous, not just on New Year’s Day. This is His way of guaranteeing that we become who He created us to be and we have all that He desires us to possess. Our Heavenly Father doesn’t miss any details. He never lies, and He never makes a mistake. He’s perfect beyond perfection, and His plan for our lives is the one we should be pursuing.

In many instances, our disappointment is intensified because we’re pursuing our plan instead consulting our Heavenly Father for His plan. Some of us are heading in a direction that is far for His plan and purpose, and this is never a successful strategy. Proverbs 19:21(NLT) tells us, “You can make many plans, but the LORD’s purpose will prevail.” God’s plan is that we grow in Christ by living by the example our Lord and Savior left for us. When this is our commitment, everything in life will respond to the light that we are allowing to shine from within.

People make dozens of resolutions at the beginning of each new year, and many of them are broken in just a short amount of time. Colossians 2:10(NLT) declares, So you also are complete through your union with Christ, who is the head over every ruler and authority.” New Year’s resolutions don’t make us whole. God has made us whole through the sacrifice and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Yes, there are seasons in our lives where everything feels flat and disappointing, but this is because of how we are viewing life. We need to pray and ask God to do a work in our hearts. If we ask Him, He’ll give us a new heart and a fresh revelation of what He has in store for us.

Resolutions are about what we think we need to change. A better strategy is to resolve to seek God and allow Him to show us what we need to change. He’s the One with the plan for our existences, and He knows the improvements we need to make to fulfill our purpose in His plan. In His words to the Apostle Paul, God tells us in 2Corinthians 12:9(ESV), “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” We need to rely on this with all that we are. It’s God good pleasure to extend His grace and help us to become all that He wants us to be. He expects us to have hope in His transformation power, because it is a hope that will not fail us. He guarantees that if you resolve to give yourself totally over to Him and refuse to fear change, you will grow in Christ through His love and be a perfect fit for all that He has in store for your life. ■

Scripture quotations marked (NLT) are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved.

“A Perfect Fit for the New Year”, written for 4theChristianMan.com© 2024. All rights reserved. All praise and honor to God through Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.

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