I read a recent article that listed the five most
popular resolutions made every year:
5. Take up a new hobby
4. Make more money or get out of debt
3. Improve relationships
2. Stop smoking
And the most popular New Yearís resolution? You
1. Losing weight
A woman walked into her bathroom at home and saw her
husband weighing himself on the scales as he was
sucking in his stomach. She laughed and then said
sarcastically, "sucking in your stomach is not going
to help you to weigh less you know."
Her husband said, "Iím not trying to weigh less.
Itís the only way I can see the numbers."
How was 2016 for you? Was it a good year with lots
to be grateful for? Or was it a challenging year?
Did you have some hopes that didnít become a reality
like healings, professional advancements, and
reconciliations? Did disappointment knock at your
door this last year? For many, that was the case.
But for others, maybe some good things happened and
youíre hoping they will repeat in 2017.
The great thing about the New Year is that every
time it comes around it brings a chance to take
stock of our lives. Where are we going? How are we
Two elderly women were lamenting about their old
age: ďWell, Ethel, weíre constantly tired, we both
have bad hips and we need a walker to get around; we
canít hardly hear a thing, and we canít see past our
Ethel comments, ďYes! But at least we can still
What can we do to make 2017 a better year in the
face of such pessimistic reports? I have a
suggestion that comes from the Apostle Paul:
First, release the past! A new year means a fresh
The Apostle Paul was never one to let circumstances
of the past overly effect his tomorrow. Listen to
Paulís attitude in Philippians 3:12Ė14: ďBut one
thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining
toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to
win the prize for which God has called me heavenward
in Christ Jesus.Ē
Your memory can be both a friend and your enemy.
Hopefully, youíll recall some very pleasant things
about this past year, but chances are that youíll
also remember some negative things.
Maybe this past year was a time of painful
transitions in your lifeóthe kids grew up and left
home and youíre now trying to deal with empty nest
syndrome. Maybe your job came to an end and youíre
having a tough time making ends meet. Maybe a
relationship ended. Maybe a loved one died and
youíre trying to deal with the lingering grief and
loneliness. Moments like these can cripple us and
hold us in bondage to the past.
Second, look forward to what lies ahead. In other
words, Iím looking forward so much that Iím going to
press on to get there. To summarize Paul again: Iím
moving on now.
Truth be told, maybe you donít know where you are
moving on to. In fact, whenever we leave behind a
vice or regret that has been such a defining element
of our lives itís sometimes unclear what the future
holds. But you can bank on this, when we make Jesus
the center of that future, itís bound to be good!
[Ron Otto, preaching minister, Lincoln Christian