We’re eleven days into the new year, meaning that the overwhelming majority of New Year’s resolutions are already bound for the landfill. Making changes and cultivating new habits are incredibly difficult undertakings. Its especially difficult if we don’t have a clear, deep, and purposeful reason for making the change. For many years, I let my weight climb and climb, maintaining awesome habits such as drinking 6-8 Mt. Dews per day. As I outgrew large shirts, XL shirts, and then even XXL shirts, I still did nothing to make a change. Yes, every once and awhile I would declare I was going to diet, but it never happened. I could never really find a reason to make the changes I need to.
Finally, I realized that my bad habits were impacting my health. In fact, there was a real chance of them shorting my life, limiting my time with my wife, my children, and limiting my opportunities to serve God. With those reasons to improve my health squarely in mind, I was able to go from nearly 300lbs to to 175 pounds in a year. It wasn’t because I was some superhuman or on some fad diet, it was because I had a purpose and a vision and never let my eyes off of it. Do you need to find a reason in order to best live out your faith this year and beyond?
Far too often, we fail to be the disciples God has created us to be because we lose sight of our reason for fully following Him. We fail to understand the impact we could make, fail to discover our purpose, and fail at keeping a Godly vision at the forefront of our lives. This year, I encourage you to make The Great Commandment your reason for following God, and to keep it at the forefront of your heart, soul, and mind. When asked what the most important commandment was, this was Jesus’ response:
“‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” Matthew 22:37-40
Here Jesus is giving you a plan and a reason for following Him this year, next year, and all the years of your life. He is telling us transform EVERY part of our life in a way that glorifies God AND impact others. To transform our hearts to fully love God. To entrust our souls fully to God. To trust not on our own feeble minds, but to trust the Holy Spirit. And, also, to act for the benefit of others by loving them as ourselves (I like to call this our hands). If you feel like you’ve lost your purpose and that you keep falling short, make transforming your heart, soul, mind, and hands (behavior/actions) your reason and goal this year. Keep reminding yourself to love God, and to love others, with all that you are.