“(5) Put to death the earthly you… (12) Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” (Colossians 3: 5a, 12-17)
It is a New Year and many are making decisions to make changes in the New Year. The problem is most of us do not keep the “big” resolutions that we make. Paul Tripp, in his final blog for the year, reinforces the idea that changes don’t happen in big ways. He talks about how they happen through the small choices and changes we make each and every day. I would like to think that the resolutions I make for the New Year are changes that I truly can keep and adapt into my lifestyle for the long haul not the short term.
For example, many talk about losing weight and dieting in the New Year. Well, that’s great but no one maintains the fad diets over the long haul. But, deciding to eat healthier is feasible if we just take it one thing or change at a time. Healthy eating is maintainable – fad diets are not. OK, that’s just my opinion.
Georgia Schaffer has a website entitled “What needs to Grow, What needs to Go”. Maybe that’s a better approach to the New Year. In my life what areas can I improve upon, water, feed, nurture? On the flip side, what areas in my life do I need to begin to sort though and take out to the trash? A little like cleaning out the attic, basement or garage of our homes – Use it? Keep it? Or Discard it?
So, join me this year as I search my life and my walk with Christ and ask myself the following questions. What areas of my Christian walk need nurturing? What part of my sinful self do I need to work on shedding? What part of my growth process am I happy with and want to encourage myself to continue on the same path? Keeping up that approach on a daily basis will bring changes in the New Year. Maybe not dramatic changes, but the changes will definitely be more permanent and productive.
Lynne Jahns is a Christian counselor and holds the honor of being the first Director of Barbara’s Place at America’s Keswick, a residential addiction recovery ministry for women. Lynne is married to Bill Jahns, who also serves on staff at America’s Keswick as the Director of Housekeeping. When not working and studying, Lynne loves to be outdoors and to travel. Family is very important to both Lynne and Bill and a lot of free time is spent with relatives and close family friends. Lynne holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and Behavioral Sciences from Cedarville University in Ohio, a Master of Arts degree from The College of New Jersey in Community Counseling, and a Doctor of Philosophy Degree from Louisiana Baptist University.