Monday, January 02, 2012

Starting the New Year with a New Attitude

"The object of a New Year is not that we should have a new year.  It is that we should have a new soul and a new nose, new feet, a new backbone, new ears and new eyes.... Unless a man starts afresh about things, he will certainly do nothing effective"

GK Chesterton

If you're looking for a helpful bible passage to start the New Year, you might consider this excerpt from Philippians 3:

"But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ.   Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord."

Philippians 3:7-8

Paul's claim from this passage both challenges my soul and refreshes me as I start a New Year.   Paul's reference of "gain" speaks to his heritage, his place of honor, perhaps even his very identity - everything that contributed to a sense of his own righteousness before God..   All of which he counted as loss for the sake of knowing Christ.   Knowing Jesus Christ - it's a pursuit so rich and fulfilling that it warrants our setting aside of all counterfeits that might steal our attention away from this holy pursuit.

I'm provoked to look upon my life for vestiges of boasting in my own achievements - the very elements of my life that bring me respectability and honor - the ones that can so easily rob me of my dependence in God.   I pray for the echo of Paul's words to power my life for this New Year.  May I take no confidence in my gifts, abilities, intellect or skills.  May I neither seek, nor rest upon the praise of men..   Instead, may I draw my identity and worth from Jesus Christ - from the fact that I know Him and am known by Him.

"Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own,   Bur one thing I do, forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus."

Philippians 3: 13

I'm just starting out, I'm not there yet but I plan on pressing on.    



Paul Long said...

Amen. Good reminder!

Halfmom said...

It is a good reminder! We're going through Phil with the Jr Highers right now - the week before Christmas was exactly that passage. This Sunday it will be "pressing forward". Thanks for the reminder to check myself the way we remind the kids to check themselves1

Ted M. Gossard said...

Good. Being renewed day by day, as well as repentance as in change over the long haul is what counts.

Good to see you posted again.