Just thinking about all the things I should put right, but will probably fail at, makes me worry. So instead this year I’ve decided to sack the standard list and just commit to one simple task. Less of a New Year’s resolution, more of a New Year’s revelation.
Sure I could do with losing a few pounds; I eat too much and I’m unmotivated in the exercise department – an attitude I know doesn’t exactly honour God. Don’t get me wrong, I want to put these things right, but having had many failed attempts before, I doubt my own ability to change myself.
I need Jesus. My only resolution this year is solely focussed on him.
Jesus told us not to spend time worrying about what clothes we wear or the food we eat. By reminding us we cannot add hours to the day by worrying, he identifies a cycle or pattern that we all get into. Find something to worry about, then toil to try and fix it. Instead, Jesus’ conclusion to combating worry and breaking the cycle is simply to seek him and God’s kingdom.
“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” Matthew 6:33.
What’s he saying? Put me first in your life, live righteously like me. Make my concerns, your concerns. Concern yourself with building my kingdom, share with those in need, feed and clothe the hungry, give hope to the spiritually poor. Take your eyes off yourself and look at me, who I am and the things I am doing.
This year instead of worrying that my life doesn’t look completely as it should, and instead of toiling away to try and put it right, I want to focus just on Jesus. On spending more time with him. On getting to know him. On loving the things he loves. Doing the things he’s actually asked me to do – bringing about justice on earth, you know, that kind of thing.
He is my motivation. Who he is. Somehow when I read the Bible and find out who Jesus is and what he has done for me, the temptations I face each day – my particular trivial weaknesses – seem somehow very small and not worth the worry.
I know I have his strength to overcome things I find difficult. I know I am loved by him and he accepts me. I am free. Understanding the truth of this is enough to make all the changes in me I would like to see. And the same is true for you.