Monday, December 30, 2013

Don't Look Back, Look Up.

I am personally an advocate of the fact that if you want to change you definitely do not have to wait for the new year to begin. In fact, don't wait at all, do so immediately rather than continuing to live your life at its less than maximum capacity. However, I am grateful that someone had the idea to set a deadline that would convince millions of people to make the changes they should have made months ago. Maybe we should try to start a tradition of doing new months resolutions, that would really help pick up the pace, but I digress.

For a lot of people who go about making a new years resolution (NYR) at least some level of thought is put into it. Nevertheless, many NYRs are set almost mindlessly as people write down goals of losing weight and getting out more. While these are in fact worthwhile endeavors, I have witnessed the mass of people of all shapes and sizes that begin to flood the weight room every January, the frustration of which is eased by the fact that I know that crowd levels will return to normal as soon as February comes--sometimes even sooner-- demonstrating the all to common fact that a lot of people have a poor resolve to change. So, what is it that makes the difference between a determined person and one in the opposing category?

I will attempt to answer this question by first making a reference to the classic motion picture, Disney's Mulan. One of my favorite songs in that movie is called something along the lines of, "A Girl Worth Fighting For." In this song the soldiers all sing of a girl who would motivate them to fight with honor, or in other words they speak of what motivation would give them a greater resolve to conquer. What makes the difference in someones determination or resolve is there motivation. Sometimes in our lives it is a beautiful child of God that motivates us to be better people, but that only lasts as long as that person shows us some interest. While it is a good motivator for a moment may I suggest a better source of motivation. The motivation I speak of is the love for God. When you do anything out of love for another person, it only lasts as long as that love is being reciprocated, so the fact that God's love for us is unconditional and unfailing makes it a great place to ground our actions.

Jesus Christ, our Savior and Redeemer suffered and died for everyone of us. He did this so that if we would come unto him, then He could remove the burdens of our sins and help us back on the path of Eternal Life. While some people trudge through life carrying the weight of their mistakes upon their back, Christ has a showed us a more excellent way to becoming the people we want to be. After the extreme expression of love that Christ showed unto us, should we not respond by showing our love and adoration for Him?

So, how do we go about showing our love for God? Consider the clear and concise council given by Christ himself, "If you love me, keep my commandments." (John 14:15) Not only has Christ granted unto us the ability to change, but he has also showed us what we can change. As we strive to live the commandments we will not be left uncertain as to what we can do to become better people, and not only that, but Christ will also help us as we strive to live according to His will.

As you approach the start of this new year and as you review/create your NYR consider the motivation behind the goals that you have set. If you find that you are not changing out of love for God by resolving to live his commandments consider revising them. If you make your new years resolution to live the commandments of God, whether that be in the form of living the Lord's law of health of that of loving our neighbors, your heart will be filled with love and an undying motivation to change. Let Christ be your strength and your support so that this year the changes will be permanent, not just fleeting. It is my prayer that this year we usher in lasting positive changes into our lives as we change for God, and with God. In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen. 

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