Why New Year’s Optimism is a Good Thing

Have you tried and failed in areas of personal growth in the past? In Christ, there is always opportunity to take a new approach and try again
3 min read

And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.

Galatians 6:9

Two years ago I made a resolution to work on my posture. Some health setbacks and the long road of recovery had me slumping and slouching. It took all of my energy just to put one foot in front of the other and there I was, all bent over. I knew it. I didn’t like it. So I determined to fix it.

But two years later, I’m still slumping. My efforts to get my shoulders back and keep them there fell short. Someone I love dearly gently brought it to my attention the other day.

Ouch.

So, what to do? As I see it, there are two choices: (a) Try again, or (b) Give up.

I think I’ll go with option a.

The challenge is, something like changing your posture doesn’t happen in a day, or a week, or a month for that matter. It is the type of change that is slow and progressive.

But isn’t all personal growth like that? The disciple’s journey, as Eugene Peterson described it, is …a long obedience in the same direction. Indeed. And the most difficult part of the journey is often the mental part, which makes sense if you think about it because in the mind is where personal transformation really begins.

But a new year has me thinking about something even more important than physical posture. You guessed it, I’m thinking about spiritual posture. How can I walk humbly with God while also keeping my chin up and my shoulders back in the faith? After all, slouching physically is bad, but slouching spiritually…that’s even worse.

So, with New Year’s optimism, I am resolved to have another go at it. I am not naive that there will be distractions and disappointments, but even so, I am hopeful. I am freshly committed to reviewing God’s faithfulness yesterday when I start feeling anxious about the pressures of today and tomorrow. When the enemy gets in my head and tries to intimidate me into playing it safe, with God’s help, I will trust Him and take a step forward. Rather than dwelling on the shortcomings of my past, I will fix my eyes on Jesus and believe that what He says about me is unalterably true. By the grace of God, I will enthusiastically embrace every day and help as many other people as possible to do the same.

Yes, I think I’ll go with option a.

Happy New Year and may God bless you!

It’s a new day with God. Run with it.

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