Another new year is upon us. With that comes all sorts of actions, thoughts, emotions and more. Some look to change their occupation, embracing the phrase: “new year, new career.” There are those who will relocate to a new home, city, state or even country. Many are motivated to make New Year’s resolutions. They see the new year as an opportunity to correct some bad habit they might have or do something they either know they should be doing or have always wanted to do.
A change of calendar stirs up feelings that are deep inside each and every one of us. We make New Year’s resolutions because it makes us feel good at the moment, with the hope that it will bring some positive change in the future. Psychologist Tim Pychyl uses the term “affective forecasting” in explaining this behavior (popsci.com). People, in general, like new things. There is a sense of freshness in putting away the old for that which is new. This is true with relationships, cars, houses, jobs and pretty much everything else.
This same feeling should be present for all who decide to become a follower of Christ. In his first letter, the Apostle Peter wrote praising God because He has given us a “new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ…” (1:3). What an amazing gift! In putting away our old sinful selves, we have a new life – a life of hope which is based on resurrection, our own resurrection because of Jesus being raised. In a sense, when we obey the gospel, we are making a “New Life resolution.”
Such a resolution demands that we put the old things behind us and embrace the newness which comes with that hope of positive change in the future. The key is doing away with the old. It is our responsibility to remember this – to never forget the new life that Christ has given us and the wonderful hope connected with that gift of life. Unlike most New Year’s resolutions, we must stick to our promise to follow Jesus. We must remain resolute in our Christian walk. In so doing, nothing will ever cause us to fall short of our goal of eternal resurrection.