It's that time of year again when we examine what we don't like about our life and make a resolution to change it in the New Year. As the calendar turns from 2015 to 2016, we want to create a better version of ourselves.
Some of us want to lose weight or get into better physical condition. Some of us want to save more money and cut out needless spending. Some of us want to change careers or kick that bad habit. This will finally be the year that we do it!
Can be I honest with you? If you need to wait until the New Year to make a resolution to change your life, I think you misunderstand how people change. Permit me an opportunity to explain myself.
I think change is important. I think resolve is essential. Taking steps to improve your lifestyle is a wise decision. Don't confuse my purpose: I'm not trying to discourage you from writing or keeping a New Year's resolution. I simply want to challenge the way you think about biblical change.
For the Christian who finds their hope in the person and work of Jesus Christ, change doesn't take place in big, dramatic moments. Rather, the transforming work of grace operates in 10,000 little moments of life more than it does in a series of two or three life-altering events.
Are life-altering events significant? Absolutely - that's why they're called life-altering! But, the quality of your life and the character of your person is primarily shaped and defined by the 10,000 little decisions, desires, words, and actions you make every day. Even when we experience a life-altering event, we will have 10,000 little moments to respond to it.
So how can you make 2016 your best year ever? Well, for starters, don't wait until New Years Day - start right here, right now! Confess in those 10,000 little moments of conviction. Live courageously in those 10,000 little moments of faith. Respond obediently in those 10,000 little moments of choice. Choose the Kingdom of God over the kingdom of self in those 10,000 little moments of desire.
Here's the bottom line: you don't need a big resolution to change your life, because your life is defined by 10,000 little moments. Jesus Christ is present and active in all these small, seemingly insignificant moments, and he has resolved (by his life and death) to rescue you from sin and transform you into his likeness.
By sovereign grace, God places you in 10,000 little moments that are designed to take you beyond your character, wisdom, and grace so you'll seek the help and hope that can only be found in him. In a lifelong process of change, he is undoing you and rebuilding you again, not into a better version of you, but into a version of him!
So yes, you and I need to be committed to change in 2016, but not in a way that hopes for a big event of transformation. Our hope for change is a humble heart that finds joy in, and is faithful to, a day-by-day, step-by-step, moment-by-moment process of insight, confession, repentance and faith.
If you want to make a New Year's resolution, resolve to live in those 10,000 little moments!
- How do you want to improve your life, or improve yourself, in 2016?
- Identify at least 5 opportunities where you could have made changes in that area this past month?
- What was holding you back from making change in those opportunties?
- On top of any resolution you have, where is Jesus Christ calling you to change? Be specific about 3 weaknesses.