A popular exercise at the beginning of each new year is the making of New Year's Resolutions. There is something about a new beginning that gives us the feeling of a fresh start to reinvent ourselves with new mindsets, new habits or new relationships. A new beginning is exactly what believers get when they accept Jesus as their Messiah.
"Therefore if anyone is in Christ, they are a new creature; the old things passed away; behold new things have come." - 2 Corinthians 5:17
"Do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the old self with its evil practices and have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the one who created him" - Colossians 3:9-10
Resolutions that we make require our own effort to succeed. We cannot wish that things will be different and then sit back and wait for it to happen. In order to produce positive change in our lives, we have to not only initiate it but also put forth the daily effort to make sure it happens. The Colossians passage talks about the same thing. Who put off the old self and put on the new self? Believers. This requires action on the part of the believer. Each and every day, every believer must set their mind. This means to make deliberate, conscious decisions on what you will think about. What you will allow into your mind. what you will allow to influence you. If you do not start your day deliberately setting your mind on what to focus on, you will be like a ship without a rudder, wandering aimlessly on the ocean.
Just because a believer accepts Jesus does not mean that they do not have to do anything after that. Everyday we must work to become who we and Jesus want us to be. We have to consider the consequences of our decisions. We have to avoid anything that does not take us closer to who we want to be. We must set an image in our mind every morning of who we want to be. It has to be clear and it has to be real enough to get us to make the right decisions to reach it. Every day starts with a resolution or a goal. Everyday starts with us renewing our minds to become more loving, joyful, peaceful, patient, kind and compassionate.
Not just on January 1st, but everyday of the year, start your day with a resolution to be more like Jesus, then work like crazy to make it happen.