As we enter a new year, let’s make some commitments:
to eat healthy (more fruits and veggies);
lose some weight (fill in the blank) ______lbs;
to spend more time with family (be specific);
to be more patient (especially with _______ and _______);
to be more giving (be specific);
and to save more money for retirement, college, or a rainy day (fill in the blank) $_______per week.
These are all very worthwhile, and I highly recommend these kinds of new year’s resolutions for a better (and maybe even longer) life.
Beneficial though they are, here are two better new year’s resolutions found in the Bible:
“‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” (Matthew 22:37-40, NRSV)
Jesus was quoting Deuteronomy 6:5 and Leviticus 19:18 when he gave these two great commandments. So let me suggest that we commit to treat others as we would want to be treated, using as a guideline what God, through the Apostle Paul, tells us:
Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility regard others as better than yourselves. Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others. (Philippians 2:3-4, NRSV)
This, and all the other new year’s resolutions, aren’t going to happen unless we put God first in our lives. We need God’s help to do the right thing, and we need God have a more fulfilled life. So if God isn’t in your life at all, there’s bound to be a significant void in your life, an emptiness that only a relationship with God can fill.
One first step on this new path might be to go to church. No, the building isn’t going to collapse when you enter it. No, people aren’t going to stare at you like you came from outer space. Who knows? You might even like it: the music, the teaching on a Bible passage, the fellowship.
However you start off the new year, make sure God is made an important part of 2014. May you have a blessed new year.