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resolutions : I deal in hope

I deal in hope : Carolyn R Scheidies

Blog New Year New or The Same old?

We look at the new year as a time to regroup, make better choices and change things about ourselves emotionally, intellectually, or physically. Whether or not the past year was overall positive or negative, we know this past year has been filled with things we should or should not have said or done. We are not perfect individuals, though often while we refuse to accept certain mistakes and choices from others, we very often make excuses for ourselves when we make the very same mistakes or choices.

We view the new year as a fresh slate, clean pages on which to write a different story—one in which we are better, brighter, more caring, or whatever changes we feel are needed. Many make resolutions to act better, eat better, exercise, lose weight, or some combination of ways we see we need to change. When we’re honest with ourselves, we know that such commitments seldom lasted before. Though sometimes we actually follow a resolution for a week, a month, or two.

Then we find ourselves falling back into old habits and patterns of behavior. We feel like failures and scramble to find excuses. What we hate to admit is that we cannot do everything ourselves. We can only do so much despite our determination and desire to be independent. Our culture wants us to believe most of us are “good people.” Yet if we’re honest and really search our lives, we know different.

Jesus didn’t come for “good people.” In fact, if you are “a good person,” you have no need of a Savior. Jesus came for those who acknowledge the truth. We are not good and tend more toward evil than righteousness. For those willing to admit that “All (this includes you and me) have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23) there is hope.

Jesus didn’t come for those puffed up with pride and arrogance or those who wish to be totally independent. He came for those who know they need help. “God commended His love toward us that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)

The message of Christmas is a baby who left heaven to be born into a human body so that He might lead us back to a relationship with Him. Back to love and hope and peace. He lived a life of sacrifice and caring. He taught us about the consequences of our mistakes. Deliberate bad choices=sin.

He also gave His life for all the ways we mess up our lives and the lives of those around us. He was tortured and crucified not for anything wrong He’d done, but for the wrong we’ve done. By His death, He offered us life and by conquering death He lives to give us true freedom as we choose to let go of our independence and messed-up lives, allow Him to come in, clean us up and make us truly whole.

In the new year, we don’t need to make resolutions or try to do better all on our own. Jesus instead asks us to become fully devoted followers, which means turning toward and not away from Him when life doesn’t follow our plan or when we deal with pain or tragedy.

A follower doesn’t expect roses and sunshine all the time. Sometimes life is hard. Will we still follow? Will we continue to grow in the knowledge of the One, through prayer, God’s Word & circumstances, realizing He has a good plan for our lives as we follow no matter what—.not for perks—but because Jesus really is the only “Way, the truth and the life.” (John 14:6)

Are you a Christian in name only or are you ready to truly devote your life to He who created, knows, and loves you best?

Happy New Year!

© 2023 Carolyn R Scheidies
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