I’m sure you’ve all noticed, but it’s a new year. We made it through 2020. Some of us had a better year than others, but we all had difficult times one way or another. It is behind us, and we are ready to move forward. Just like we need to do every single day. While so many of us make resolutions for the new year, do we make resolutions for the new day? Part of the reason so many people lose sight of their New Year’s resolutions by February is because we set them so resolutely one day and forget it is a daily thing. Every day we have to wake up and resolve to do those things that we want to improve. As Pastor Chad challenged us, what if one of our resolutions was to be better at pointing people to Jesus? This is something we have to remind ourselves of every morning. We have to resolve to do better than yesterday.
One of the biggest problems with resolving to exercise more is those days when we just can’t. Sometimes it is a time thing, sometimes it is a complete exhaustion thing, and sometimes we legitimately forget. But instead of greeting the new day as a clean slate and resolve again, we can get wrapped up in being frustrated with ourselves for not doing it yesterday. It’s okay. Give yourself some grace and do better the next day. Don’t give up.
A resolution to be better at pointing people to Jesus is one of the most important resolutions. We cannot give this up. As Christians it is one of the commands we must follow. We must work harder at it. But we must also embrace the grace Jesus has poured out on us, and when we mess up or when we forget we must resolve again to do better the next day. I said “when” because it will happen. We are imperfect people, and we make mistakes. Ask for forgiveness and move on from it. One of our family’s much-used quotes is “Mistakes were made!” We have to acknowledge our errors, but we also have to put them behind us.
Another reason we fail at our attempts to keep our resolutions is because we often make them quietly. When we don’t tell anyone about them, we do not have anyone to keep us accountable. Or if we get grumpy at people who ask about them, they’ll stop asking, and consequently, it makes it easier to stop doing them. Are you trying to improve? If you’ve resolved to point people to Jesus, you’re trying to exercise more, or cutting back on something, telling more people about it will mean you have more people asking you how it’s going. And be honest. When you mess up, I promise you will hear about other people messing up, too. When we’re all in this together, we can pull each other up if we stumble.
Great things in life are not accomplished and then you can stop working at it. Any career you choose, you will always need to update the information you have learned. Any marriage has to be worked on to be healthy and long-lasting. Any talent has to be practiced often so you do not become rusty. Our relationship with Christ and shining the spotlight on Jesus instead of ourselves takes daily work. We can’t become a Christian and then rest back on our laurels. We must resolve, work, and encourage each other to do the same. This means we take time to read God's Word together and study it together. Even if you think you know the Bible backwards and forwards, there are always new things God will be trying to teach you. Listen, and point people to Jesus. “He must become greater; I must become less.” --John 3:30