Practical Tips for Entering the New Year, Part 1: Rejoice!

Anastasis Faith

What do I want to change in my life?


That’s the question that starts to cross our minds as we enter 2017. While change is a good and normal part of a healthy life, it shouldn’t necessarily be our end goal. Change can be a great thing! When something in our lives changes, like getting out of a bad circumstance or dropping a bad habit, we can rightly feel good about that. But what about when the change is bad, or what if there is no change? When that happens, we are tempted to feel sadness or shame. As Christians, how should we approach change and New Year’s Resolutions?
In this short series, it is my hope to offer practical advice for how to approach the New Year with the right mindset, using 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 for guidance:

“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”

Part 1: Rejoice in the Lord

So often, I see friends and family members who set goals—some attainable, some not-so-much—and I can’t help but wonder what their thoughts are behind those goals.
·               Do they want to lose weight to be healthy, or because they feel pressured by society?
·             Do they want to read their Bible more to honor God and grow in Christ-likeness, or to feel better about themselves?
·               Do they want do better in school because they haven’t been trying that hard, or because they worry about their future?

Those three examples are all good things to want, but the motives behind them can sometimes become muddied if we aren’t careful. Especially as Christians, everything we do should aim to honor God. Whether we are full-time students, part time employees, friends, church members, daughters, wives, or mothers, we all have responsibilities to fulfill and opportunities to serve God and those around us. Everyone reading these words falls into at least one of those categories, and plenty more that I could mention.
Some of the things we will be called to do this year are mundane tasks that seem to have no spiritual value, things that even non-Christians do. This might include washing the dishes, cleaning your car, studying for an exam, running errands, or showing up to work on time.
Then again, some of our responsibilities and activities will be obviously spiritual in nature. Things like going to church, reading the Bible, praying, counseling friends, and serving others fall into that category.
The second list appears to have more significant value to it than the first, because those are very obvious ways that we can serve God and love others. Yet, Scripture makes it clear that while we are on this earth, everything we do has spiritual value:

Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve.”
Colossians 3:23-24

As a Christian, there is no separating our “human” lives from our “Christian” lives. Every aspect of our lives is an opportunity to serve God and love others, if we do it in the name of the Lord! By being obedient to God in all we do, no matter how important or insignificant it may seem, we will be rewarded and see true change—a change in our hearts and actions to model Christ more. And when our lives are about pleasing God and growing in Christ-likeness, joy comes naturally!

“The hope of the righteous brings joy, but the expectation of the wicked will perish.”
Proverbs 10:28


Brittanie is a recent college graduate, new wife, and expectant mother! She enjoys spending time with family, serving her church, and encouraging her friends. You can follow her on Instagram: @djbritbrit

What are some of the things you want to accomplish or change this year? Comment below, and think about how you can approach your resolutions and your new year with joy!

Anastasis Faith / Author & Editor

Anastasis is a Texas girl who enjoys writing, blogging, and music. You can connect with her here on her blog, or at morningglorypursuingjesus @yahoo.com

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