New Year, New You

It’s the end of the year. For most of us, it’s a time to dream, plan, and refocus our lives toward something new. We begin setting goals, making resolutions and asking the question, “What will I do in 2021?” 

It’s a simple question, with a not-so-simple answer. 

Making plans seems challenging with the pandemic still rearing its ugly head. And for many of us, we’re still deeply feeling the losses of 2020, so it’s painful to think of creating new plans.

All year, my husband and I have asked the question, “What will we do this weekend?” only to be met with the question, “What can we do?” Planning for a new year seems to have that same feel. 

But…I wonder if we’re asking the wrong question. 

As we focus on the beginning of a new year, perhaps our question shouldn’t center on what we can do. Instead, maybe we should be asking the question, “Who do I want to be this year?”

For those of us who follow Jesus, there’s a simple answer. Our lives are supposed to reflect his life. While this isn’t an exhaustive list, here are a few ways to be more like Jesus next year.

Be Humble

Philippians 2 tells us that Jesus was willing to humble himself, even to the point of death, in order to serve us. We’re challenged to model our attitudes after his example (Philippians 2:5-8).

How would it change your year if you entered each interaction from a place of humility, considering others before yourself?

Be Prayerful

Throughout the life of Jesus, we see that he often took time to get alone and talk with God (Mark 1:35). He gives us a beautiful example of what it looks like to be in relationship with God the Father.

Since we only become like Jesus by spending time in His presence, how would it change your year if you started each day in conversation with him?

Be Compassionate

From the start of scripture, we learn that God is “compassionate and kind, slow to anger and abounding in love” (Exodus 24:6), and that Jesus is the exact representation of God (Hebrews 1:3). We witness his compassion in so many ways – he stopped to heal the sick (Matthew 14:14); he mourned with those experiencing loss (John 11:1-44); he cared for those who were outcasts (John 4:1-42); and he gave his own life to rescue us (Romans 5:8).

How different would your year be if you lived with Christ-like compassion for everyone you meet? 

Whether you’re hoping to become more humble, prayerful or compassionate, here’s one important truth to keep in mind: None of us will become like Jesus by doing more or trying harder. It’s only through surrendering to his lordship, spending time in his presence and allowing him to change us from the inside out, that we’ll be able to follow his example. 

The only thing that will bring lasting change to our lives is to know Jesus and become like him. 

So, I ask you: Who do you want to be this year?    

Lord, make me more like you in 2021.
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