Happy New Year!
Sorry for the delay in the post! I’ve been packing and trying to get ready for my flight home. Covid (for me) has officially left and now it is time for me to return home and get ready for the next half of the school year to start. Whoop!
Wow..this last year has been crazy. I can honestly say I am grateful it’s over. I know the changing of the years doesn’t necessarily mean anything. However, it gives every person the opportunity to have a mark where people can start over to start fresh. Personally speaking, I love New Year’s Resolutions even though many resolutions are abandoned come February or March. However, forming resolutions allows me the opportunity to do a recap of my life and see how the last year went. It grants me the ability to assess the events and the choices that I have participated in and see the benefits as well as the negative outcomes. I don’t enjoy reflecting on the past. However, Winston Churchill once stated, “Those that fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” Therefore, I challenge myself to learn from my mistakes and work on making myself better.
This last week has been spent with a lot of reading and reflecting. Many of the books I read had a subtle common theme in them. This simple word became very powerful and resonated with me so much that I have chosen it to be my guiding word, the one that influences my choices and decisions this year.
The word for this year is…EXCHANGE.
What an interesting word. The definition of exchange is “the act or process of substituting one thing for another”. When given choices, we usually choose the better. But when we already have things, we find it hard to exchange even when we know there are better things.
For example, when you’re thirsty, you get a glass of water. When you pour water into a glass you believe to be empty, you are replacing the air (which is good) for water (which is better) for the beneficial purpose of getting a drink.
Exchanging is a Biblical principle. Think of the verses in Ephesians 4:22-24. “That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind: And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.”
Put off… Put on…
To have a spirit-filled life, you can’t just get rid of stuff. Matthew 12 speaks about a spirit coming out of a person, and then coming back later and finding that place unoccupied. That impure spirit then brings seven more spirits back to where the person is worse off than he was before. To be better, we can’t just remove. We have to replace it. We have to exchange.
For example, to quit smoking, every time a person feels the urge to put a cigarette in their mouth, they are counseled to put something else in. (Items such as a mint, a sucker, or a toothpick) You can’t just get up and say “I’m going to quit smoking.” because what will you do when the urge comes? This process can be used for any bad habit or any habit that is less than productive that isn’t inherently bad. Scrolling through social media isn’t necessarily bad, but it can become a waste of time, time that could be used for something else. So one could say “I’m going to quit scrolling aimlessly through Facebook. Any time I feel the urge, I will exchange it with ______ (you fill in the blank). I either set a timer or I will pick up a book or any other things that need to get done that day. This principle should be used throughout our entire lives, especially our Christian ones.
So, whether you do individual resolutions for specific things, or you choose a guiding word to influence all things, I pray that you will find a way to work on yourselves this year that works best for you. Don’t get discouraged. It’s a new year. Let’s use our time wisely for the glory of God and to benefit His kingdom.
Do you have any resolutions? Or how do you choose to enter the new year? I’d love to hear about your traditions! Comment below or personally message me. I’d love to hear from you!
image credits- pngkey.com editing:myself