“New Year’s Disciplines”

A New Year.  A fresh new start.  A good time to make changes in our lives.  “This year, I want to . . . (finish the sentence).”  I’ve heard that most New Year’s Resolutions aren’t kept for the entire year, and yet many of us still feel called to make them.  This isn’t all bad.  At least it leads to some good reflection.  We examine ourselves.  We discern where change is needed.  And we make a resolution.  But why are they so hard to keep?  Perhaps because we misunderstand the process of change.  A New Year’s Resolution describes a vision for change.  “I want to become more generous.”  “I want to become more patient.”  But how do we get there?  Enter the disciplines.  Spiritual disciplines.  These are the God-given ways to help us do what we can’t do on our own strength.  I heard one pastor explain that change requires vision, intention and means.  The Spiritual disciplines, holy habits like worship, Bible reading and prayer, are the means to reach the vision.  As we practice certain disciplines, with God’s help we gain the power we need to change (to reach the vision).  Of course this especially applies with spiritual  change, but I suppose it could apply to other sorts of changes as well.  So, I prefer to call them “New Year’s Disciplines” over “New Year’s Resolutions.” So, how would you like to grow spiritually this year?  And which discipline(s) will help you get there?  May God help us all to grow in godliness this year—through Jesus Christ our Lord!


One thought on ““New Year’s Disciplines”

  1. The “New Year’s Disciplines” may be a helpful way to perceive our journey into this new year. Thanks! I also find it helpful to have a healthy sense of struggle, so not to think that our struggle in being disciplined has no value. Perhaps our, “This year I want to…” statement is an indication of our desire to be more like Christ than we realized. Thanks for insight Leon!

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