How many New Years resolutions have you made? How many have you kept? Now come on, be honest. It is said that around 40% of people make a New Years resolution, yet around 90% fail in making their resolution a reality. Why not make this New Year something different? Why not make your resolution something else… a relationship with Christ and His creation?
Why? Well it’s all about love. You were created from love, for love. At the heart of our Christian faith is the conviction that Jesus Christ - fully human and fully divine - is God. In the crucifixion, we see His humanity. In the ascension, we see His divinity. In Him, we see love.
But love does not exist in isolation, it exists in relationship. We can see this in the very identity of who God is! He is pure love (the Son) in union with pure love (the Father) that sends forth a pure love (the Holy Spirit) into the world. It is in this way that our life is an experience of being immersed in the love that exists between the Father and the Son. This is the truth of the Trinity – Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Yet, contemporary culture seeks to express a different Trinity – the Trinity of Me, Myself and I.
Especially at this time of year, we can get caught up in the physical, in our possessions and those of others. Whilst it is natural to want to fulfil your needs and desires, there is a danger where we can find our identity in the pursuit of ‘possession.’ So, the first question to ask yourself this New Year, is ‘where is my identity?’
The Gospel would say that your identity is found in a personal encounter and ongoing relationship with Jesus. This may mean a reality shift for you this New Year, that it is not about what you do, but who you are. And to truly understand who you are, you must understand whose you are. God wants you to love Him how He loves you, with everything. If you are truly from love, for love, then it is in relationship with God that you can answer the two simple, powerful commandments Christ gives to have a life lived to the full: love God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind and all your strength; and, love your neighbour as yourself.
So, love God and love others? But how if you can’t even love yourself? Well I guess this leads to another relationship of love, with yourself. This New Year, ask God to reveal who you truly are, a creation, born beautiful, fearfully and wonderfully. God dwells within us, hidden in the depths of our hearts. We must find that beautiful treasure in our lives and allow it to be the source of our identity.
How do you do it? Well, this life of love might require a shift in your priorities, summed up in the word JOY:
It is not just a great acrostic poem, but a way to find order in your relationships this New Year! The Become Book that I created helps bring these very questions of faith into the heart of my daily life. It asks three key types of relationships that you can focus on to make this JOY a reality:
- Follow – Who are you following? Who are those leading you into a deeper understanding of who you are and how you can live your life of love?
- Beside – Who are you walking beside? Are they key family members, friends or colleagues? Draw closer to them by making a conscious decision to spend more time and effort in loving them this New Year.
- Lead – Who are you leading? Jesus called the Twelve, to lead them into the life and mission that He created them for. Who can you call on this New Year?
So, this New Year, seek the JOY that your heart yearns for by focusing on a relationship with our God of love. It is in relationship with Him, and allowing His love for humanity to flow through you, that you can truly find your identity and purpose this New Year.
The Become Book is a Christian planner that gives you the tools to unite faith and life, bringing you peace and productivity. Find out more at www.becomebook.com