Greeting the New Year With Celebration or Sleep
Folks celebrating New Year’s Eve may echo Mark Twain’s words, “Sometimes too much to drink is barely enough.” For others welcoming the New Year’s arrival means ignoring the event and sleeping through the countdown to midnight. They reflect the thoughts that the ideal is to stay home and sleep as the Old Year fades and the New Year is born.
You may be one to always greet the New Year with a resolution for yourself in the coming year. If so, may you find the self-control to achieve your goals. I like Benjamin Franklin’s guidance for the future year “Be at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors and let every New Year find you a better person.” But unfortunately, we tend to want a better 2023 by focusing on what we cannot control or change.
Every year whether new or old, we tend to focus on problems in our world and in our lives. We hope things will be better in the coming year and add prayers for improvement. I pray 2023 brings an end to the war in Ukraine and a lasting and secure peace agreement there.
I want peace in Ukraine with an end to the war, with its death, destruction, and devastation. The question is, am I ready to pray and be more self-controlled regarding my disagreements and angry thoughts? But, unfortunately, we can all wage wars of blame, unforgiveness, getting even, and hateful feelings.
Yes, sometimes I am responsible for the strife and stress in my life. Everyone can be hard to get along with over a year. I pray that I recognize the need to treat others the way I would want to be treated. The Lord knew the secret of happiness between people is loving your neighbor as yourself. Loving must begin and continue with each of us, which means I need to deal with my self-centeredness in 2023. I can only change myself, and that can be highly challenging. Knowing what is wise and always doing it can be two different things.
In the coming year, all of us will sin. Some will recognize it and regret it, while others will deny or ignore its reality. The Bible cautions, “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar, and his word has no place in our lives.” 1 John 1:8-10. I pray that God will give us all a growing eagerness for his word in our lives in 2023.
The correct answer to sin is the loving forgiveness of sinners through faith in Jesus Christ, his Son. God wants to break the power of sin in our lives so that we might find new life through believing in him as our loving God. God’s word centers us on Jesus Christ, God’s Son, and God’s loving salvation for us in Jesus. We will need countless things in 2023, but the most crucial need is to know that God loves us and to love him in return.