By: Undre Griggs, Jr.
As we begin a new year, it is always fun to imagine the changes we are going to create in our life. We may want to get that gym membership, call our parents more, or be nicer to others. Whatever it is that we want to change in our life, it requires a complete commitment to that change. Buying the gym membership is nice, but maybe you need the extra accountability of a personal trainer. Wanting to speak to your parents more is thoughtful, but maybe you need to set time aside to visit them as well. Sometimes it requires a little more than what we intended to accomplish our goals; but if we truly want to succeed, we have to be willing to do what it takes.
Romans 12:2 (ESV): Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
As Christians, our commitment to God is no different. We are to live a life where we are separate from the world in many ways. We should not feel the need to retaliate, and we should be willing to be kind to the “wicked and ungrateful” (Luke 6:36). For us to achieve this goal, we need to put all of our energy into learning the word of God. This will provide us the clarity to make decisions that are aligned with His will.
Philippians 4:8 (ESV): Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.
Like most aspirations, we often know what it takes and are simply not doing it. If we asked someone the process of losing weight, he or she would likely say: eat less and work out more. If we asked someone the process of becoming a better Christian, they would likewise say: go to church and read the Bible. Now both cases are more complex than what I laid out, but you get the picture. If you want to be a better Christian, you need to focus on things that will give you a Christian frame of mind. Pessimism is the choice of the world, but optimism is the preference is Christians. If you want to read your Bible more, try watching TV less. Television is full of programming that is riddled with pessimism. If you only focus on things that honorable, just, pure, and lovely; I can all but guarantee you will have the mindset to be a better Christian. Just remember, all good things come from above (James 1:17) and if you want to show God your appreciation for what He has given you; be obedient. Like any good parent, they give everything they have to the well-being of their children. The only thing they expect in return is for the child to show their love by listening to their parents (1 John 5:3).