Walking carefully in 2018
In January gym memberships soar, supermarkets replace the meats and cheeses with superfoods and we enjoy inserting a bookmark a few pages into a new book.
However, so many of the New Year resolutions we make don’t last. It doesn’t seem long until the old routines or habits wash away the ‘new start’ we were hoping to make.
Consider your ways
The apostle Paul describes how it’s important to consider your ways.
‘Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of time, because the days are evil.’ (Ephesians 5:15-16)
New Year is a helpful reminder to consider and then walk, using our time, money and resources well.
New Year resolutions often reflect poorly what God’s doing in us. He uses small - sometimes unnoticeable - steps of grace to makes us more holy. Any other way would be far too painful for sinners, wed to their sin.
Paul calls us to a careful walk. Finishing the race of your life well is more a marathon than a sprint. It’s actually more like a long walk. Step by step. Faithfully, carefully walking with Christ. Until we reach our destination.
The pursuit of holiness is not a speedy tick box exercise. It’s a plod, one foot after the other.
The New Year is an opportunity to take another step. You’re struggling to read your Bible? Don’t set out to read the Bible in a year. How about a small section daily?
You want to be more generous? Don’t aim to have the whole youth group over every Sunday. Take a brother or sister out for coffee every so often.
You get the point. Take the next step. Don’t go off on a sprint. Even the quickest sprinters only last 100 metres before slowing to a halt.
Walk carefully. Better to plod into 2019 than to sprint from January into spiritual exhaustion in February.