Let’s face it. The last three years have been hard on everyone. 2021 and 2022 were a pandemic blur, and 2023 has been no picnic, either. Because of all of the stress and strain from the economy, wars, AI, or current events, you (like me) may have done a little comfort eating. I know that a whole bunch of people out there are going to make 2024 New Year’s resolutions to lose weight, get in better shape, and improve their health and the way they look. (And I’m one of ’em!) Those clothes in my closet aren’t going to fit themselves to ME.
It’s Day One of 2024 (thank the good Lord!), the day when everyone resolves to make some changes and get stuff done! If you’re like me, you will look in the mirror and decide to make some improvements. Workouts will resume and optimism will be high! In January, the gyms will be busy. We all know the population of resolution-makers thins back out (ironic) in February as muscles ache and enthusiasm wanes… So, maybe it’s time to come up with some other resolutions for New Year’s!
Get Into Shape!
People work hard on getting back in shape. (My own problem when it comes to fitness is that I am usually concerned with “fitness donut into my mouth”!) Even though gyms are open, 2024 still has health risks that challenge our ability to pursue our fitness resolutions, so take care as you . The post-pandemic environment has required some new thinking about working out. People are doing Peloton, Mirror, and home workout classes. This year, folks will be expanding their resolutions in order to get into some smaller clothes!
But stop to consider that there is more than one kind of fitness. Physical fitness is certainly desirable, but don’t forget to work on your mental and spiritual fitness as well! When you start writing those New Year’s resolutions this year, try to think of more than just your outward appearance. Build some spiritual muscles along with those physical ones.
What’s on the Menu?
Jeremiah says, “Thy words were found, and I did eat them.” Peter says, “As newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow by it.” The Bible, it seems, is our spiritual food! So try this– if you drew a picture of your “spiritual man (or woman)”, based solely on how many spiritual meals you get each week (that one small meal at church seems kinda small now, doesn’t it?), then what kind of shape are you in? Is your spiritual man or woman robust and healthy, or are you a poor refugee who is starving?
Get a good mental image of your spiritual self, sitting over there in the corner of your mind… Maybe it would be good to feed them a few meals that provide spiritual sustenance. Here are a few suggestions from a book filled with ready-made New Year’s resolutions:
Just Do It
“Whatsoever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, where you are going.” (Ecclesiastes 9:10 NKJV)
“Let us search out and examine our ways, and turn back to the Lord; Let us lift our hearts and hands to God in heaven.” (Lamentations 3:40-41, NKJV)
“Seek good and not evil, that you may live; so the Lord God of hosts will be with you…” (Amos 5:14, NKJV)
“And whatsoever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men”. (Colossians 3:23 NKJV)
“But seek ye first the Kingdom of God, and His righteousness, and all of these things will be added unto you.” (Matthew 6:33, NKJV)
“And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” (Joshua 24:15, NKJV)
“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” (Philippians 4:8 KJV)
There are LOTS of other good resolutions in there, and hey, it’s a new year! Feel free to dig into that book and find your own. Then work on them a little bit every day. Your spiritual man (or woman!) will thank you for it!
The Wimpy Spiritual Man
Somewhere, in the corners of your mind
Your spiritual man sits weakened, frail, and blind;
You treat him like you really never need him,
And rarely work him out, or even feed him!
He really only asks for your permission
To have him work beside you on your mission.
So this year, when you’re making resolutions,
Remember your poor spiritual constitution:
Work him out a little every day,
Encourage him to venture out and play!
Here’s a little challenge, then, for you:
Feed your spiritual man a meal or two.
You’ll be surprised at all that he can do!
When he gets stronger, you’ll be stronger too.
To buy my latest book, Real People, Real Christmas: Thirty-one Days Discovering the Hidden Treasures of the Christmas Story, go here: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1729034918/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
For Slaying Giants: Thirty Days with David, go here: https://www.amazon.com/Slaying-Giants-Thirty-Devotions-Ordinary/dp/172568327X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1535814431&sr=8-1&keywords=Slaying+Giants%3A+Thirty+Days+With+David
To buy my book, Beggar’s Bread, go here: https://www.amazon.com/Beggars-Bread-Devotions-Ordinary-Guy/dp/1535457392/ref=sr_1_1