We have landed feet first into 2011. Last year has flown by faster than a Russian kid on a civic. And now its merely a faint recollection, slowly disintegrating into nothingness. Many of us only have a few trinkets, photos, facebook posts, and memories to remind us that it really happened. Others only have a long list of disenchanted dreams and regrets. Life is short. When you contrast it with eternity, it becomes even shorter. Pastor John Piper wrote a book titled Don’t waste your life. Today I ask you to consider are you wasting your life? When this year ends (and it will end) are you going have another heaping serving of bitter regret? A life lived serving Christ will never be wasted or lived in dissatisfaction. Dont you want to change this year? To start a new direction? It wont be easy, but Jesus will help you.
1. Reflect on mistakes, don’t hide them.
From an early age we learn that making a mistake leads to shame, punishment, or both. We are quick to learn many creative ways to hide and cover-up our mistakes. We lie to our God, our boss, our family, our pastor, our church, our friends, and then even to ourself. We say: “this is not yet that bad,” or “I have this under control.” No you don’t. Admit sin is still sin; a mistake is still sin, a “character flaw” is still sin. Stop hiding from guilt, shame, your mom, or whatever; instead admit you need to repent and reform your life. If you wont admit it, you wont begin to change it.
2. Prioritize your life around Jesus, don’t put Him off for “later.”
Its easy to fall into a routine of procrastination and say I will make time for the Jesus a little later. Soon your “later” becomes “next month,” or “next year,” and then before you realize it years have passed and your eyes are glazed over from the pain, emptiness and sin in your life. Make some plans to live differently and recognize Jesus is foremost in all those plans. Go to church this week and plan on doing it every week. Place Jesus at the forefront of every plan in your life.
3. Dont overexert yourself with giant leaps.
This blog is being written Jan 19 for a reason. By now, the vast majority of all New Years resolutions have failed and been trashed quicker than a Justin Bieber cd. At about this time of the month its business as usual for most people. Hopes of changing are long dead. Why? Because most sadly assume change requires one giant leap of faith, change, or superhuman will power. It can, but usually it doesn’t. Stop expecting everything to happen overnight and stop giving up if it doesn’t. Stop trying for big, glamorous things so people can see you and boost your ego.
4. Take a million small steps towards Jesus.
Change doesn’t happen in giant leaps. Armstrong didnt get to go to the moon because he made one grandiose leap, it was because he spent a multitude of tiny leaps in training. Don’t try to read the whole bible in one week, start by reading small bits, but do it consistently every day. Don’t exert your life by thanking God 30 hours during one week and fail the rest of the year, start by thanking Him once every day for a minute. Dont quit drinking/drugs/pornography by emphatically declaring to the whole world your intentions and but by fighting a little battle every single day to say “no.”
I think you get the picture.
Change happens when the Holy Spirit leads you to take a million little steps towards Jesus, not when you try giant leaps that everyone can see and congratulate you for.