Here we go! What a fitting time to start a new blog: a new year, a fresh start, exciting new possibilities.
Years ago, I decided that New Year’s resolutions were an exercise in futility. I was one of the hordes of people who packed out the gym in January, found excuses not to go in February, rarely went in March, and felt guilty about not using my membership in April. Never again.
Rather than writing a list of admirable but unrealistic goals (I will lose 20 pounds! I won’t eat ANY junk food! I will read my whole Bible every single day this year!), I decided to select a Bible verse that would serve as my theme for the year. This is a simpler approach. It streamlines the decision process. Most importantly, it is achievable. Rather than work through a list of dos and don’ts, all I had to do was think about my Bible verse and ask myself, Does this decision point back to my verse? Simple.
For example, last year’s verse was Ephesians 5:10 – “Find out what pleases the Lord.” This verse simplified every single life choice into one yes-or-no question: Does this please the Lord?
A couple of days ago, the thought occurred to me that it would be cool to select a scripture for 2011 from chapter 20, verse 11. 20:11. It sounds like a good idea, right? Let’s take a look at some of my options.
Genesis 20:11 – “There is surely no fear of God in this place, and they will kill me because of my wife.” Although I’m sure there are some who could use this verse, it’s not for me.
Deuteronomy 20:11 – “If they accept and open their gates, all the people in it shall be subject to forced labor and shall work for you.” This might be a way to get my house cleaned, but … no thanks.
Acts 20:11 – “Then he went upstairs again and broke bread and ate. After talking until daylight, he left.” Now, this is a verse I could embrace! Eating and talking – what’s not to love?
I was beginning to think that my inspiration wasn’t such a good idea. But then I decided to go back through and read more carefully. My second time around, I saw a verse that I had missed the first time (how did that happen?).
Proverbs 20:11 – “Even a child is known by his actions, by whether his conduct is pure and right.”
This is it! Christians, we must be constantly mindful of our conduct in the world so we don’t humiliate the name of Christ that we bear. Everything we do should be “pure and right” – whether it’s resisting the urge to tailgate a driver who is going 10 miles under the speed limit (guilty!), or speaking up when you witness injustice. Let’s think about being “known for our actions.” Our actions should always point back to Christ, whether it’s helping at the local soup kitchen, or heading overseas to take the Gospel.
In this New Year, let’s focus on giving the glory to our Lord, in word and in deed. Join me. Make this verse your theme for 2011.