A Brand New You
Read 2 Timothy 1:13-14
How does drawing near to God help in making the life changes we need to make?
There's just something about the start of a new year that causes us to take a closer look at ourselves. "I want to lose weight," someone says. "I should read more books." "I need to spend more time with the kids." "It would be nice to save up a little money this year." By the time February rolls around, a lot of us are left wondering, "what happened?"
Resolutions are easy to make, but nearly impossible to keep. And this is frustrating, because we know that the resolutions themselves were good. It is good to lose weight. It is good to spend time with the kids. So why is it so hard to keep these good resolutions? Is it even worth the effort to try to change anymore?
There is no simple key to being able to make a change stick in your life. Most methods involve strict rules. A dieting resolution will have you eating only certain things at certain times and exercising for 20 minutes on this piece of equipment and 15 on that. There are charts to fill out, food labels to consult, reps to count, and on and on. We get burdened with so many rules that, no matter how good the change is, it's not worth it. This sounds a lot like the approach many people take to religion.
In fact, that's what religion is. It's a set of rules and regulations designed to produce a change in those who follow them. And whether it's New Year's or not, the people who approach religion this way almost always burn out. They believe that the only way to change is to work hard at it.
It's a good thing Christianity isn't a religion.
It's true that once you become a Christian a lot of things will change about you. You'll probably start reading your Bible more; you'll pray more often and you'll attend church most Sunday's. But those changes don't happen because of new rules you've adopted, they come because of a relationship you've started. Because now there isn't just one person changing the bad things in your life, there's two.
The apostle Paul encouraged the young Timothy as took on new responsibilities by reminding him that the Holy Spirit would help him. (See 2 Timothy 1:14).
Lord, thank You for new beginnings. Thank You for second chances. Amen.