New year, new you!

Isn’t that what we hear at this time of year?  It might get annoying because the idea is used for a lot of things we don’t need; however, there is something unique about January.

Photo by Anna-Louise from Pexels

Our culture has hard-wired us (it seems) to start good habits in January.  Gym memberships skyrocket this month.  Diet programs and food choices become more talked about.  Managing our money is a common topic. 

Photo by from Pexels

The challenge, friends, is not starting something good in January, but keeping it up long past February when most have given up on their New Year’s resolutions.

We find ourselves in a very appropriate passage of Scripture this January: Proverbs 8:13-14.

To fear the Lord is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech. Counsel and sound judgment are mine; I have insight, I have power.  

Proverbs 8:13-14
New International Version

Part of our healthy habits as Christians is making it a regular habit to take one more step towards Jesus.  None of us have “arrived” as Christians.  None of us are at the point where we have grown enough.  None of us can sit back on our past spiritual formation and coast on towards eternity.

There is always work to do—maybe that work is to fight against complacency. 

Biblical wisdom is always a worthwhile pursuit, but wisdom is not meant to stand apart from the Lord. 

Have you ever heard someone say, “That person really knows the Scriptures”?  My question is this: “But do they know grace?” 

We can have wisdom, but apart from the vibrancy of time with the Holy Spirit, our wisdom will be a pathway to arrogance (see 1 Corinthians 8:1).  That’s why wisdom doesn’t stand alone. 

The wisdom we gain from the Scriptures is meant to be coupled with prayer and (Biblical) meditation.  If there’s one thing seemingly absent from most of American Christianity, it’s an intentional reliance on the Holy Spirit.

We rely on what we can see, read, or study and much less on what we can feel, trust, and experience. 

Photo by Ali Arapoğlu from Pexels

But when we really know the Lord, we understand the reverence we should have for Him.  Our attitude of respect and love for the Lord creates the desire to obey Him. 

After all, Jesus reminded us that if we love Him, we will obey Him (see John 14:15).  He wasn’t just talking about mental agreement; He’s talking about walking, talking, acting, smelling, and looking like Jesus to our world.

That’s not just wisdom; that’s wisdom coupled with a vibrant relationship with the living God!

Try this today: pray to the Lord.  Pray to the Lord and then just stay in the moment.  Rest in His presence.  Think about His grace.  Think about His love.  Think about how He has blessed you.  Think about how He will never leave you.

Start the new year off right: by taking another step towards Jesus by enriching your relationship with Him.

Not that’s a new you for a new year!