by Dr. Sharon Norris Elliott
As we enter another year, we can become retrospective. Looking back, what was the last year like? Maybe the year was phenomenal. Perhaps you reached a goal, experienced a breakthrough, overcame a difficulty, or received a nice surprise. Or maybe the year was dreadful. Perchance you faced a devastating loss, or are struggling with an illness, a wayward child, or financial reversal.
Either way, since we’re still alive, whether we faced triumph or tragedy, there’s still hope. God allowed us to wake up this morning for a reason. So rather than dwelling on the view through the rearview mirror, let’s concentrate on looking through the windshield. A new year—like every new day—holds boundless opportunities.
At the start of every new year, I choose a word or phrase that will be my overarching focus for the next 365 days. Keeping a spotlight on that word or phrase is my resolution. Last year, I resolved to focus on thanks and celebration. And boy oh boy, the year turned out to be full of seeing God do amazing things and miraculously provide for my needs! I had no other choice but to smile a lot as I thanked Him and celebrated His goodness over and over again.
Realize one thing: there are a lot of things to accomplish. We can face the coming of a new year as if it were a sun-drenched, tree-lined road just waiting to be traveled. Our one necessary resolution needs to be something that centers on God, so that all our other goals and plans are grounded. So, it could be a very good idea to make this year’s primary resolution to be more like Christ.
Jesus Himself said of us, “I have made you [God] known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them” (John 17:26 NIV). And Paul reminds us that we “reflect the Lord’s glory, [and] are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit” (2 Corinthians 3:18 NIV).
God is within us, and we are being transformed into the likeness of Jesus. Because of this, the only resolution necessary, then, for the new year is to “clothe [ourselves] with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature” (Romans 13:14 NIV). If we resolve to do this, all our other plans and goals will fall into place.
So now, look forward. Start brainstorming about the fresh 365 days that lie ahead. Get out that notepad and at the top of the list of “Things to Do in the New Year” write “to be more like Christ.”
This article is brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).
About the author: “Live significantly!” That’s the inspiring message of Sharon Norris Elliott, award-winning author, editor, agent, engaging speaker, and licensed minister. Author of 12 books, and associated with several prestigious organizations such as AWSA, ACE, and HSBN.tv, Sharon is also co-director of the WCCW conference. She is founder/CEO of AuthorizeMe® Consulting, Coaching, & Editing Firm and Literary Agency. www.AuthorizeMe.net
Sharon’s latest release, A Woman God Can Bless, walks through the house of your life with you and Jesus. This book will help you ease open the doors of old patterns of behavior, ingrained habits, and accepted dispositions with which you’ve grown accustomed. Within these pages you will find gentle prompts that will help you let the Lord remodel those closed rooms by redesigning your thinking and behavior to line up with His will for how you should then live.
Join the conversation: Do you have a word to focus on for 2023? Please share!