I love lists. I make lists for my work days and my days off and the days I'm trying to get lots of important things done and the days I'm trying to get insignificant things done. For 2016 I have already made a bunch of lists. Lists of family adventures we need to take. Lists of goals. Lists of prayers.
New Year's is the perfect time to make lists of everything you want NEW. Changed. Different.
Sometimes, though, I wonder if all the lists, resolutions, vows to "do" something different are really just a longing to BE someone different.
I recently read an article about Justin Bieber, and his relationship with Carl Lentz and Christianity. It's a great read, and I won't do it justice here, but one evening, Justin came to Carl in desperation. Unlike the Justin we see on MTV and at the VMAs, this Justin wasn't confident. Wasn't impressed with his fame. Wasn't happy with his success. And he wanted out. Not of what he was doing. But out of himself. He wanted to be baptized. He wanted to be someone different. And he wanted it immediately.
He didn't need a new album, a new tour, a new wardrobe, a new ride, a new girl. He needed a new Justin. He needed a new "me".
I think I can relate.
I think you can relate.
In all of the New Year's effort to lose weight, to look good, to start a new habit, to end an old one, to get a date, to lose a date, to find a new job... it's really about something much deeper than that. We don't just need clean slates. We need clean hearts. We need that incredible peace, emotion, inner rest, satisfaction and glory that comes from being made new.
Colossians puts it this way: "You have taken off your old self, with it's practices and have put on a new self, which is being renewed in the knowledge of its Creator." In the New Year maybe we don't need new make-up, haircuts, or shoes. Maybe we don't need new work-out regimens, eating habits or trainers. Maybe we don't need a new project, vacation or life experience. Maybe we just need freedom on the inside. A flag of glory waving as Christ is the center of our lives, the joy of our hearts, the blood-life of our days and the focus of our admiration.
This New Years may you:
Put off vanity and put on the glory and beauty of Christ.
Put off selfish ambition as you put on the hope of Christ.
Put off worldly lusts as you put on the mind of Christ.
Put off comparison as you put on contentment in Christ.
Put off resolution to "do" a few things different...
And put on Christ. Who will make you truly new.