I love New Year’s Day. It is probably my favorite day of the year. It’s like having a clean slate to get to start all over again. Think about it. In 2014 I haven’t hacked off my wife, tried to be funny only to discover my humor was wildly inappropriate, I haven’t broke my diet, missed a workout, failed to read my Bible, slept through my prayer time, broken a fast, missed an opportunity to share the Gospel, watched too much TV or failed to be intentional about disciplining my children.
Did I make any of those mistakes in 2013? It doesn’t matter because 2013 is gone. The mistakes and failures of 2013 are no longer an albatross around my neck that drag me down. The successes of 2013 no longer enable me to set back on my laurels.
2014 lies before me filled with potential and possibilities. All the things that could be in 2014 fill me with excitement and convince me that they should be. To make the most of all the potential and possibilities of 2014 means that I’ll have to be very intentional about making the changes that I want to make. While I want to make changes in 2014 I’m not much of a fan of New Year’s resolutions. In my world, resolutions have about as much chance of coming true as wishing I’d get bitten by a radioactive spider and get super powers. The just aren’t going to happen. But goals are a different story.
I’m spending the majority of today finalizing my goals for 2014. I’ll continue to work on them this week and hope to have them completed by Saturday. When I set goals I don’t just set the big thing I want to see happen. I also set 4-5 smaller goals that will help me to accomplish my bigger goal. When I think about the picture of the future that could be, something inside me screams that it should be and this fills me with excitement and hope.
While you may not be as excited about the New Year as I am, I feel pretty confident in saying there is something you want to be different in 2014. You may not do resolutions or goals but there is something you would really like to change this year. It could be that you want to be more faithful as a follower of Jesus Christ. It could be that you want to be more consistent in reading your Bible and praying. You may want to change something with your health, your finances, your marriage, your parenting or relationships that you have. Even if you haven’t thought long and hard about it, there is almost certainly something you’d like to change in 2014.
If we are going to set goals of what we want to accomplish in 2014, or if we are going to resolve to change things in our lives, shouldn’t we have spiritual goals and spiritual resolutions as well as physical ones? I think we should. This week I’m going to encourage you to resolve to do four specific actions in 2014. These aren’t necessarily New Year’s resolutions. Instead, these are actions we are determined to take. These actions apply to us if we are new Christians and they will apply to us if we have been Christians for a long time. I’m convinced that if we resolve to take these actions, we’ll look back at the end of 2014 and see it as one of the best years ever.