Can we start off the new year on a better foot than usual? I know, I know. You already have that diet plan ready, the exercise bike positioned in front of the TV, or your cursor hovered over the CANCEL button in your Facebook settings.
Amongst the multitude of New Year’s resolutions made and followed through (or not), here are 5 things that you can do by following Jesus’ direct example:
Jesus face-timed. Believe it or not, Apple does not have the monopoly on this popular concept. He spent an unbelievable amount of time talking with people to their face. Today’s technological tidal wave of social networking, YouTube videos and 140-character micro-messages can inundate your brain with meaninglessness while making you believe the lie that you are “connected.” Don’t believe it. This year, spend more face time with people and connect the way God designed.
Jesus was quiet. He got away from the turmoil. Luke 5:16 makes this plain and says he “often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.” Matthew 6:6 tells us to “find a quiet, secluded place so you won’t be tempted to role-play before God. Just be there as simply and honestly as you can manage. The focus will shift from you to God, and you will begin to sense His grace.“ (MSG) So many people are not alone these days. They’re never quiet. Noise and crowds are the norms. This year, try to give yourself and God a more exclusive conversation.
Jesus Laughed. Remember the story told about how rich people find it harder to get into Heaven than fitting a camel through the eye of a needle? Come on now. That’s funny no matter which way you slice it. Jesus joked. I mean… Jesus even drank! Remember the wedding He turned the water into wine? You don’t think He sat back and allowed everyone else to indulge in some good old-fashioned fun while He sat somberly like a wallflower? No. He enjoyed things. He enjoyed people. He enjoyed fun. This year, take more joy in things without becoming cynical or giving things a negative spin. I promise it will lighten your heart.
Jesus Wept. When was the last time you cried? I tend to have a mindset that crying shows weakness, and that’s bad. In fact, being weak, being meek, being vulnerable, admitting some flaws, seeking help, and generally letting sadness have a place in your life. We humans are not built to be happy 24/7. You’re meant to experience a range of emotions. Sadness, joy and anger all have roles to play in your life, and as long as you don’t let emotion become the dominating force in your life, and this year, you can even experience some healing by expressing some of those bottled up feelskies you haven’t let out yet.
Jesus Died. I’m not talking about actually dying. I’m talking about dying to yourself. Sacrificing something you love for someone else’s benefit. Give up that $20 you’re going to use on a video game in order to get some flowers for your wife. Maybe that extra 20 minutes you have for lunch can be spent paying your husband a surprise visit-kiss-and-smile. That homeless man on the corner might have a better use for your $5 than a Starbucks. This year, become a little less about you, and a little more about others.
Everyone has something they want to do differently in 2014. Jesus saved the world by making people His life. Maybe we can better the relationships we care about most…Jesus style.
Love, the RYM Team