Committing to the Resolutions of the New Year
As we head into the last 2 months of the year it seems a reflection of January’s New Year resolutions might be in order. Have you found yourself committing positively to life from the inside out this year because of your set resolutions in January? Did you “resolve” the way you move through life? If you are anything like me, January was so long ago that I can hardly even tell you what I resolved to do much less whether or not I did it. Committing to do life better always sounds like such a great idea until, well… life gets in the way. We all can recognize how much easier and at peace life is when we not only fully commit to it, but we can check the box saying that we did so completely.
If you have ever studied or even listened to music, you understand the need to resolve a chord from a dissonance sound to a consonance one. It is as simple as taking the tension and resolving or committing to make it agreeable. Even if you aren’t a music connoisseur you certainly recognize when things sound right, and they sound wrong. Most of us like our music much like our life, resolved.
The Woes of a Dissonance or Unresolved Life
Once there was a music composer who had a rebellious son that used to come in late at night after his parents were in bed. But before the son would retire to his own room, the disagreeable chap would go to his father’s piano and slowly, spitefully, and loudly play a simple scale. He played all the notes except, the final one leaving the scale unfinished and in a dissonant state. So, he would play, “Do-Re-Mi-Fa-Sol-La-Ti…” and never strike the final note of Do, and then saunter off to his room.
His father, hearing the scale missing the final note would turn and twist unable to relax because the scale wasn’t finished. When he could no longer stand it, the great musician would crawl out of bed, stumble down the stairs, and strike the final note of the scale. Upon fully committing to the completion of the scale and resolving it, he could relax and be at peace.
This is sometimes how we commit to living, doing most of it right, but never quite fully resolve what we start. Often this can be seen in our faith or how we treat God. We play most of the notes right but not quite the full scale. We commit to forgive others but not completely justifying why we can’t resolve to do such. Too, often we say we love but then don’t love everyone completely. We will serve but again not completely for other things come along and get in our way. So, we attempt to live our lives to God, living the Christian lifestyle but at times, not completely. But, even though our commitment to God isn’t quite resolved, in His infinite patience and rather extraordinary grace, He continues to reach out and love us.
From the Inside Out
Thankfully, He does have such great love for us that He is willing to allow us to begin again, start over, and make attempts to change our life to fully committing to Him. This is where we find Zacchaeus this week. This “wee little” man, as the childhood song tells us, along with scriptures, really wanted to see Jesus. He wanted to change his life for the positive as he hadn’t made some really great choices and although he held plenty of material things, he didn’t hold what he truly desired which was love and acceptance. Thankfully, Christ came to save everyone regardless of background or previous ways of life. Salvation for Zacchaeus is also salvation for us all.
It is important to recognize though that when we are committing to change our lives to the positive that we must start from the inside out. A famous pastor once said, “When people tell me that human nature cannot be changed, I am moved to reply that in light of my experience, human nature may well be the only thing that Can Be Changed!” There is much in the world that we can’t change such as the course of the moon or stars. We have no power over the laws of the physical world. Our power over the movement and flow of the ocean is nonexistent. But the Bible is packed with pages of testimonies of the lives, purposes, and events that were changed because people changed the way they thought and acted. They started from the inside and then the outside reflected and resolved the changes.
The Positive Effects of Grace
We can change the way we “do life” and live a life where the inner changes reflect outward through our actions and reactions. By simply committing to changing the way we act, others around us can both see and experience Jesus through us. Committing positively to life though begins on the inside but is available to everyone! The beauty of the grace of God is that we can begin again, and we don’t have to wait until a New Year.
“For the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost.”Luke 19:10 (NLT)
The story of Zacchaeus teaches us that we are not saved because of who we are as Jesus came for everyone. When we find that we haven’t quite committed to Him we can change through faith. For forgiveness with the ability to be new again is waiting for the lost or those of us who lose our way. God wants us to fully commit to Him but even when we fail, He continues to love and reach out to us with the grace and forgiveness that only He provides.
Won’t you challenge yourself today to commit positively to life playing a full scale as you resolve to live your life from the inside out for Christ? Root your convictions in the knowledge that He came to earth for everyone even when you slip and fall. Find motivation in the revelation that you can change your behavior and allow your actions to reflect your inner thoughts showing others the Christ within you. Lastly surround yourself in the comfort of knowing that even when you treat God in an incomplete manner, He continues to reach out to you with His full love and grace.
Love in Christ,
Change your thoughts and you change your world.Norman Vincent Peale
What are Your Thoughts?
Have you experienced a changed life by committing positively to life starting from the inside out? Do you recognize that even though you may fall short of a full commitment to God that He stands ready with grace and forgiveness for your simple faith? Share your thoughts and experiences of a positive and resolved life committed with the Savior.