New Year, New You!

Isn’t that slogan annoying? I can’t count how many times I have heard that

over the years from different advertisers and motivational jargon in general.

Yeah, sure sounds nice, but in reality, we all know that when the clock strikes

midnight, we don’t turn into a new person or find the road map to our future on

our laps. And most likely, when the calendar flipped to 2013, you were still

single, overweight, unhappy, in debt, messy, unorganized or lazy. Nothing

magical happened, and your goals for the year ahead seem difficult and

unattainable.

Research

has shown that the third week in January is the most depressing week of the year.

Some have even nailed it down to a day — Blue Monday.

Christmas is over, you are back at work, and you have already traded in your

carrot sticks for waffle fries. Ba hum bug.

We do this to ourselves, you see. We allow the media to take us on a rollercoaster

of emotions from Halloween to New Year’s Eve. They set us up for “The Most

Wonderful Time of the Year” and then dump us off our holiday high on Jan. 2.

Then what?

Then they want us to purchase gym memberships and diet plans, sign up for

dating services, and buy books about organization. Before you know it, you are

exhausted of trying, working and not getting anywhere. It is the third week of

January, and you are burnt out.

OK, tangent over.

I know I sound like the Grinch, but this Christmas I was more annoyed than

usual as I watched our culture get directed like a herd of cattle in and out of

stores for gifts, then to the grocery stores for all the food. Not only does media

influence our behaviors, but it also manipulates our emotions. I don’t know

about you, but I would rather not be treated like a robot, especially since I

am not a resident here.

If this is how the world wants to act, fine, but I don’t want to follow

suit. We are aliens,

remember? And because we are children of the King, we have the right to live

differently.

Instead of spending your January down in the dumps, title January “Celebration

Month.” Christ has come, my friends! He left His perfect, heavenly home to

come into this world and save us from the eternal damnation we deserve. Harsh,

but true. Isn’t that good news? He has come to free us from the law we could

never keep and offered us grace we could never afford. Let’s celebrate!

He has personally allowed you to participate with Him in His kingdom, and

has placed you on this earth for a time to help bring others to Him. There is

no time for Blue Mondays, a day where we wallow in our self-pity. We could

maybe, if this life was about us, but it’s not.

Instead of making an array of resolutions you can’t keep, make it a goal to

pray for the year ahead. 1) What does God require of you? 2) How can you act on

that? Ask God for His help as you try to make personal improvements and changes

in the year ahead. We can only achieve these goals with His help — we are too

weak to do it alone. Instead of the normal resolutions, meditate on Galatians

5:22-26. Pray that God helps you personify these characteristics. Pray He

shows you how to truly die to yourself.

I’m right there with you, friends. Let’s make 2013 different! Instead of

trying to create a new “you,” let’s shoot to be a more Christ-like version of

ourselves.

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