Humble New Year!
As hard as it is to believe, the consistent and predictable passage of time has brought the 2013 year to its near completion. This time at the end of the year is a great time to reflect, to assess, to dream, and to build resolve.
This is the time of year where people inevitably think about New Year’s resolutions as people continue to strive to be better people. What I love about New Year’s resolutions is that they show an inherent desire to become better than we are today.
New Year’s resolutions include commitments to become healthier, to sharpen the mind through reading or by taking a class, to start moving our big hairy/scary dreams into the realm of possibility, to be a better father or husband, mother or wife, son or daughter, or just to be a little further down the road this year than you were last year.
New Year’s resolutions show that we can be better, do better, and strive for excellence. If our goal is to be “living sacrifices” (Rom. 12:1), then looking at the Old Testament example of what God expects would show us that He demands our very best in all that we do. New Year’s resolutions show that even though we may have come a long way, we have not reached our potential. For the believer, our potential is the example of perfection that Christ has set for us…such a high bar to clear.
It is in that example that Christ offers us the best New Year’s resolution that we can hope to accomplish. It is the New Year’s resolution that is the cornerstone for all other New Year’s resolutions. It is the foundation in which all of our resolutions can be accomplished. This year, let us resolve to be humble.
Humility gets a bad reputation. For many of us (myself included) the word humility comes painfully close to the word “humiliation” just as “meek” comes awfully close to “weak”. Because of that, we shy away from humility for words that sounds much stronger and more socially acceptable words such as “pride”, “self-sufficiency”, or “control”.
Humility is not easy, and nobody said it would be. Nothing worthwhile ever is. Humility stems not from thinking less of yourself but from thinking about yourself less.
Humility as a cornerstone of our walk with Jesus remembers that even though we were sinners, enemies of God, and destined for an eternity separated from His grace, He humbled Himself to the point where He came to us as a baby, lived a sinless life, and in the face of the pain and torture of the cross He chose it so we could be redeemed. God’s humility results in us as being friends of God instead of enemies.
For some, 2013 was a banner year that saw milestones achieved and built a pathway to future blessings. Still, others experienced a 2013 that was a year to forget where character, patience and commitments were tested. In either case, resolving to be humble offers a positive path forward.
Being humble in success and failure stems from the understanding that both success and failure are temporary, which is a very good thing. Temporary failure allows for us to pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off and persist in the race that God has for us.
Temporary success allows us the opportunity to continue to strive for excellence, continue to offer our very best, to be living sacrifices. Humility in both success and failure understands that God has created us for community, and in that, our victories are sweeter, and defeats are softer when we do it as a body.
My prayer for myself and for everyone that as the New Year’s resolutions to lose weight, start a business, write a book (trust me, that one will take more than a year), read a book, or be better, fall by the wayside and barely survive to Valentine’s Day, that our resolution to be humble becomes a part of our character that extends beyond 2014.
Humble New Year!