by Justin Morton
This is the time each year when many of us think about all the things we need and want to change in our lives: job opportunities, healthy eating, building relationships, exercising, reading more, etc. Maybe we have a relatively short list of changes, or perhaps our list is more lengthy than we would care to admit. Whether your list is short or long, I am sure we can all agree, we all have some things we need to improve on in this new year.
And while the beginning of a new year brings about a great deal of excitement for change, the reality is that often our enthusiasm quickly fades away when we find ourselves repeating the very same patterns that we vowed to change only a few weeks earlier. Although we wanted to change, we find ourselves in the exact same place at year’s end as we were in January. It might have been a new year, but it’s the same ole’ you.
What if we made this year different? Instead of coming up with a long list of all the things we want to change but may not change, what if we focused on some of the more important areas of our lives? This year let’s work on being more dedicated and faithful disciples of Jesus. We spent some time last year looking at what it means to be disciples (Jn. 15:8). Let’s make it our aim to glorify God by bearing spiritual fruit.
Another area we can strive to improve in is our family lives. If you are a parent, work to be the most godly parent you can be. Strive to lovingly instruct your children in the ways of the Lord (Prov. 22:6, Eph. 6:4). If you are a child, work to be the most godly child you can be. Strive to obey and honor your parents (Eph. 6:1-3). Let’s work to build strong families who seek to honor God.
Finally, consider our social circles: work places, neighbors and friends. Those around us are watching our every move. Let’s strive to be the most godly employers, employees, coworkers, neighbors and friends we can be (Eph. 6:5-8).
My hope and prayer is for 2024 to be a year each of us can grow in the best ways. May we all live a more godly life in our relationships and service to the Lord. And, Lord willing, when next year arrives, it will not be the same ole’ you!