Bring on 2018!
I believe this to be the last minute rally cry for many of us as we move into the new year. After all, to many the new year represents new starts, a new you.
People typically make resolutions because they are looking for one of three things: growth, change, or an escape. The reality is a resolution is really just a fancy way of making a promise to yourself to enact the specific transformation required in order to see the result of your desire. A common example is if someone wants to lose weight, they may make a resolution to get fit by hitting the gym more.
As I’ve blogged before, I don’t really do resolutions. I believe we should be making an effort each day for improvement. I don’t need a change in the calendar to designate the start of promises I may or may not keep. I do, however, respect those who have a resolve for something different in the upcoming year. You see, for a lot of you out there, this represents hope. For many people I know, 2017 was an absolute dumpster fire of a year.
And if that was the case for you, I offer this advice: rather than get bogged down in resolutions, seek redemption. Redemption is the atoning for a fault or mistake. It’s being rescued, perhaps delivered from whatever chains bind you. It’s like a pay-off of sorts – an emancipation or acquittal of the past year. What I’m suggesting is putting in motion a different perspective of the age-old resolution pledges for the new year. Rather than resolving to do something, I wonder if it might make more sense to find redemption in the things already done?
The Greek word for “redeemed” is lytrōsis. This means verbatim “a ransoming, a deliverance, or a rescue.” Ask yourself:
- What is it from the past year I need to be ransomed, delivered, or rescued from?
- What was the cause of the fires in my life? The chains holding me back? The things I need to move on from?
It may be something out of your control such as the loss of a loved one or an illness. In this case, the redemptive strategy would be how you react and move forward from this point. On the flip side, what about the things that are in your control you need rescuing from – addictions, relationships, complacency? Are these things not deserving of redemption? You don’t get a clean slate just because it’s a new year. What you get is the opportunity to get better.
Personally, while2017 was not the easiest year in my lifetime, I have a lot to be grateful for – and even more to look forward to in 2018. Admittedly, however, I have more room to get better myself. For 2018, I have my first book being published – 12 Jars: Making the Most of the Rest of Your Life. I will be embarking on, for lack of a better term, a “side hustle” of speaking. I will be working to impact others. This blog will be rebranded. I will have a devotional published. And these are just some of the many things in store for the new year. With all of this and more, I will also be working to find redemption in the things I am either not satisfied with or feel like I failed myself in my efforts.
One thing I know for sure: Despite all else in our lives, we are redeemed by the blood of of Jesus. So all is not lost, and all can be found. Redemption is the act of saving or being saved. Though we’ve already been saved, we manage to make a right mess of our lives. Enough of the resolutions where we say we are going to do something. Let’s move forward and be redemptive for the things we need to let go. Redemption leads to freedom. Freedom awaits you this year. Less talk, more do.
As I type this, another idea comes to mind: Maybe for some of us, instead of redemption, a better idea would be New Year’s Repentance… (but maybe that will have to wait for the 2019 New Year’s blog).
Happy New Year everyone!