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Thursday, January 05, 2012

Forget the New Resolutions - Just Be New



I didn’t make any “New Year’s” resolutions this year… There. I said it. Each year I make a few and always fail to follow through.  I start off well, but inevitably, I always regress back to the norm.  What I need to do is redefine what my normal is. I need a new normal.

2 Corinthians 5 talks about a new normal.  It would be a good place for all of us to begin the New Year. 

If it seems we are crazy, it is to bring glory to God.  And if we are in our right minds, it is for your benefit.  Either way, Christ’s love controls us.  Since we believe that Christ died for all, we also believe that we have all died to our old life.  He died for everyone so that those who receive his new life will no longer live for themselves. Instead, they will live for Christ, who died and was raised for them.  So we have stopped evaluating others from a human point of view.  At one time we thought of Christ merely from a human point of view.  How differently we know him now!  This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person.  The old life is gone; a new life has begun! 2 Cor 5:13-17

Perhaps the reason many of us continually fail to follow through on our resolutions is because we make resolutions based on living for ourselves.  Too often I fall into the trap of thinking that God’s whole existence is to make MY IDEA of “the good life” become a reality for ME. “I can do all things, through him who strengthens me” is not a verse about ME.  It is a verse about CHRIST!  I can pursue God’s will in every circumstance!

When I try to live for God, in my own will, it doesn’t work out.  I fail.  It’s a trap to try and conveniently add Christ into OUR old normal.  HE doesn’t fit there!  The only way to grab hold of the new life is to die to the old one.  Whoever belongs to Christ has become a new person.  The OLD LIFE IS GONE.  We are foolish when we try to go back to the old life and live in our will. Let us all fully embrace the New Normal – this new life, in Christ.  And may we never, ever let go of him.

7 comments:

Bryan said...

Amen to the "new normal." Great post, Alden!

Susan said...

What a breath of fresh air to know that I am not the only one hung up on resolutions! Thank you. As for 'normal', hmmmm - sometimes following Jesus means being not normal.
Happy New Year, Alden. I pray that 2012 is a wonderful journey for you.

Alden Schoeneberg said...

Of course you're right, Susan. The new life - in Christ - does not fit the worlds definition of "normal." the synonyms for normal are; regular, usual or natural. The new life should also be our new nature. I don't want to live the Christ life only some of the time. I desire live it ALL of the time. Thus it will become my "new normal." The new standard.

theknife_mac said...

Is there no place for setting goals, planning, counting the cost? Not keeping resolutions is usually a lack of self-discipline-even for Christians who are called to be disciplined. Not to resolve is certain failure.

Alden Schoeneberg said...

Thanks for the comment, theknife_mac. You may have missed it, but what I was condemning was the selfish kinds of resolutions we, as Christians, often claim at new years. Those kinds of resolutions reinforce our old self.

I could have added that by making a few resolutions we often exclude a lot of other things in our lives that need to change. We tend to focus on the things we don't like about ourselves rather than asking God what He desires to do in and through us.

I offer that we should fully embrace the New Normal - this new life, in Christ and never let go of it. Resolve to live the whole life that Christ desires to live through us.

theknife_mac said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Susan said...

Alden! Wow! How wonderful! Yes, the new 'Normal' is life in Christ! Tomorrow, if God gives me the right words, I will share the Gospel with an unbelieving friend; between you and some of my other Blog Buddies, I have the the courage to do this. The New Normal will be part of my conversation. Thank you, and God bless you!!!!!