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What's the rest of the axiom? Yes, you got it: Behold, all things become new.

That comes from 2 Corinthians 5:17 which says, "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new."

That verse is talking about turning away from sin and selfishness, and deciding to live to honor Jesus Christ. And we need to remember that. But this week I will use the verse in a different context.

Yesterday was New Year's Day; and if you're reading this, you survived. Wonderful! But what's next? Did you make any resolutions?

Grandpa Linzey was born in 1888 and graduated to heaven in September of 1987. He was a practical man, and didn't have much use for special occasions. His days were wrapped around tending his animals, and Grandma's job was to tend the garden. One day when I asked Grandpa if he ever made New Year's resolutions, he said: "Son, resolutions are empty, and most people break them on the day they make them. It's just another day. The sun will rise, and the troubles we have today will be with us tomorrow."

That sounded rather bleak.

But it reminded me of a friend in New Mexico who made a resolution every year. Every December 31st he said he would stop smoking cigarettes starting January 1st. And he did stop -- for four or five hours. I finally told him, "You have decided not to quit. Why make a pretend resolution?"

"Oh, it gives me something to look forward to. It makes me feel good to say it. And I can teach the kids that smoking is bad for us." That was over two decades ago, but now his son smokes, too.

Grandpa was right. Perhaps most resolutions are not meant to be kept. And perhaps my friend was right: it just made him feel good to say it.

But even if someone wants to make a change, there might be a built-in flaw in waiting until January 1st to incorporate the change. The flaw is in waiting, because waiting to make it is a subconscious affirmation that the change might not be necessary.

Dad once told me, "If you are serious about wanting to change, don't wait until New Year's Day. Start the change now, and ask the Lord to help you." And through the years I have proven Dad's statement to be true.

Don't make a statement and call it a resolution. Resolve, or determine to change. Ask God to help you; then set your will to cooperate with God. When you are tempted to resume your former ways, remind yourself that God is ready to help. Ask the Lord for emotional strength to keep your promise. The key is to be honest with God and with yourself.

What was it that Polonius said in Hamlet, Act 1, Scene 3? "This above all: to thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man."

God did a marvelous thing when He created us in His image. He created us with will-power. He expects us to use it for His purposes, and we can do whatever He empowers us to do.

Do you want to change something this year? Don't be hypocritical. Make sure it's in line with God's will, and then ask God for help. If you are honest, God will help you make that change. This year can be a New Beginning for you.

Then you can rejoice and say with 2 Corinthians 5:17, "Old (unnecessary, improper, wrong) things have passed away, and behold, all (needed, necessary, good) things have become new."

Oh yes: if you find that you broke the resolution, don't give up! Things don't normally change with one statement or in one day. It took some time to form bad habits, and it will take time to change. So, don't quit. With God's help, you can make and keep good resolutions.

GENE LINZEY IS A SPEAKER, AUTHOR, AND MENTOR. SEND COMMENTS AND QUESTIONS TO MASTERS.SERVANT@COX.NET. THE OPINIONS EXPRESSED ARE THOSE OF THE AUTHOR.

Religion on 01/02/2019

Print Headline: Old Things Pass Away & Behold All Things Have Become New

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