Every New Year, I like many people, like to look back at the previous year, while looking ahead at the upcoming year. It’s good to reevaluate what worked or didn’t work well. It’s good to evaluate what kinds of changes I’d like to make in the upcoming year. It’s good to set goals and have priorities—as long as those ideals are not stumbling blocks in and of themselves.
At the start of January, I rejoined the gym after numerous health challenges, illnesses, and a few surgeries this past year. I pretty much kept my longstanding gym membership on hold. This past week the gym was packed with all kinds of new people or returning members set on getting healthier or losing weight. And now I’ve started the long process of tearing down all the Christmas decorations while at the same time trying to eliminate accumulated clutter or just too much stuff I’ve accrued this past year. Soon I will be looking at personal and professional goals to determine what I want to pursue in 2023.
All of these goals are good. But what if there’s a deeper purpose than just getting healthy, losing weight, eliminating clutter, or setting new goals?
What does God desire most in this upcoming new year for you and me?
Maybe we need to not just eat right but determine to EAT RIGHT! What kind of junk food do we feed our souls daily that is simply not healthy for our hearts or souls? Are we watching too much news that stokes our fear or despair even more? Do we watch too many reality programs or shows that paint unrealistic expectations or pressure to perform, and have a picture-perfect home life, travels, successful careers, families, or marriages? Or what about social media? Does it feed constant comparison by the idyllic messages posted daily? Maybe we need to tune out the TV, programs, and social media and instead feast on a healthy diet of contentment, hope, joy, and the good news of God’s Word. Christ wants you to have a healthy diet in more than one way and to taste and see His goodness in your life!
Or maybe you like me have gained a few pounds throughout the holidays or this past year. Yes, losing weight is a noble goal. But what if there are other ways to lose some weight? Perhaps you’ve carried the weight of bitterness or unforgiveness towards a family member or person for too long. Maybe you’ve been weighed down by unhappiness, fear, worry, and anger—all unhealthy emotions that need to go! Christ longs to bring you freedom in our souls and emotions as well! It’s time to lose that weight.
Eliminating clutter and junk is so cathartic and helps to have order. God likes order too. He wants to clean out the junk and discard toxic emotions that can darken our hearts. He wants us to eliminate the petty or trivial stuff in life that is just taking up space in our hearts. It’s good to let go of the junk in our hearts and minds. Sometimes it’s even good to go to confession or find a trusted mentor or friend to clean out your soul. Maybe it’s time to toss some negative feelings and thoughts while letting God make your heart new again.
And finally: while I reevaluate last year and set some new goals for this year, I would be remiss to do that alone—as would you. It’s wise to seek God’s guidance and His leading. He knows what is good for us. He desires to lead us into His plans and purposes. And as we seek Him, He’s sure to direct and answer!
It’s a New Year and time for some better resolutions.
Come to Me afresh with an open heart and mind. As you enter this New Year, let Me guide and direct your life. Let Me remove anything that is a stumbling block or holding you back from the abundant life I promised you. My mercies are new every morning and every day. Seek Me and I will lead you in all things.
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)
“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; His mercies never come to an end. They are new every morning; great is His faithfulness.” (Lamentations 3:22-23)