Posted on January 2, 2010 - by Jamie Wamsley
“Be at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let every new year find you a better man.” - Benjamin Franklin
Yesterday, we celebrated the new year with some good friends. In the midst of eating, football and talking, the conversation (as you might expect) turned to new year’s resolutions.
I struggle with resolutions – I like the idea of them, I just never seem to have the time to really think through all of the personal issues I want to address in the coming year. Under the gun, I typically pick the top one or two and focus on them for a couple of days while the enthusiasm slowly drains.
As different people took turn’s answering the question, I found myself really wanting this year to be different. I want to be a different person – a better person – by the end of 2010. In the moment, a favorite verse of Scripture came to mind, from the 3rd chapter of the Book of Lamentations. It says this,
“Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the LORD’S great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” Lamentations 3.21-23
The Bible tells us that God’s love for us is so complete, His compassion so great, His faithfulness so enduring – that no matter what we’ve done, or how we’ve failed, we can see every single morning as a fresh start with God. His mercy towards us is new every morning.
The point of this passage isn’t a particular time frame (a new day versus a new year, etc…), rather, it is the thought that God’s disposition towards us is one of incredible patience, understanding and forbearance. He really wants to help us become all that He created us to be – and He understands that we are going to fall a 1,000 times, or maybe 10,000 times, or maybe much more than that along the way.
But life with God affords us the opportunity to stand up and to try again with Him, with His love and support, and by His strength. In this spirit, the passage goes on to say,
“I say to myself, ‘The LORD is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.’ The LORD is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the LORD.” – Lamentations 3.24-26
With that in mind, as I enter into a whole new year, believing that God is with with me, helping me, strengthening me, and ever-present to pick me up when I fall, I resolved to pursue these few things with all abandon:
1. I really want to love Jesus more than I ever have in my entire life.
I am committed to Jesus, and I have been following Him now for the better part of 20 years, but I want my life to become increasingly centered around Him and His cause. I don’t want to wrestle with sacrificing for Him, with holding my life back from Him, with seeking to obey Him in all things and all ways. I want my passion for Him to exude from my life and to manifest itself in indefatigble joy, boundless energy and endless hope.
2. I want to continue to lose weight, and stay in good physical shape.
Between June and September, I lost about 50 pounds and got myself into really good physical condition. The biggest victory was lowering my blood sugar to the point where I no longer had to take medication for Type II Diabetes. Since mid-September, I have put some of that weight back on, but I do not want to return to where I was. I want to be healthy and strong and capable to do all that I need to do to serve God and to take care of my family in every way.
3. I want to step into my calling with greater force than ever before.
I have spent a lot of time praying about what God put me on this earth to do. And though there are a lot of nuances and particulars to this, at the end of the day, I feel that my God-given purpose is to lead as many people as possible into a transformational relationship with Jesus Christ as I possibly can. To the core of being, I believe that Jesus Himself is what has made my life complete – that He alone is what conquers depression and the void of purposeless-ness and dissatisfaction and frankly, evil. I believe that He has changed me, and made a better person than I could ever be apart from Him. And what I have personally experienced, I am confident that He can do the same for others. I want to help people discover the same Jesus I have found.
So, those are my resolutions – to God, and to myself. In reality, they are mercies. Because God is loving enough and patient enough to afford me the opportunity to pick up and start again each and every new day – as well as every new year.
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