Friday, December 30, 2011

New Year Resolutions

New Years is a traditional time to evaluate the year just coming to an end and to make resolutions for the coming year, typically things that I am wanting to start, or stop, doing.  But I have generally given up the habit of establishing resolutions for the new year; it just seems to be of little value in actually making any improvements in who I am, although there is definitely much room for improvement.  

But I do find value in one of the traditional images of New Years.  Although it comes in a variety of forms, the image of the old man and young child, representing the outgoing and incoming years does paint a good picture for me.
The old man represents a year that is worn out with all of the struggles of life while the young child is new and fresh and ready to face all that the new year will bring.  I find this image fits well with Paul's admonition to believers in Colossians 3:5-14.
Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. - Colossians 3:9-10 NIV
Here Paul instructs us, like changing clothes, to put off the old self and put on the new self.  The old set of clothes, like the old man in the image, is stained with the world and its association with it.  The clothes we are to remove include: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires, greed, anger, rage, malice, slander, filthy language and lying.  All of these attributes of the 'old man', need to be removed because they have no place in the person God has called me to become.

Instead, I am to put on a new set of clothes, including: compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience, bearing with each other, forgiveness and love.  This 'new self' is one that will honor God in holiness, and should be my goal.  It is a choice that I am called to make; out with the old and in with the new.

How about it?  Will you put off the 'old man' in this new year and choose to be made anew?  To put the ways of this world behind you and be transformed by the renewing of your mind?

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