WHILE NOT COMING DIRECTLY FROM A BIBLICAL SOURCE, Benjamin Franklin offered some wonderful advice concerning the foray into a New Year, advice that does contain a great deal of truth that can and should affect all part of our lives, especially as relates to our attempts to be faithful to Christ. Mr. Franklin is quoted as making the following observation:

Be at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let every new year find you a better [person.]

On this second Wednesday of 2019, I think it would be wise of us all to not only let the wisdom of this statement fill our mind, but to allow it to permeate every fiber of our beings. Imagine what transformational work might arise if we, indeed, allowed ourselves to live out these suggestions.

  • What if, rather than throwing up our hands and saying, "Well, that's just who I am, and there's no changing it at this point," we instead determined that we will do our best to let go of whatever vices may be grabbing our hearts and souls, robbing us of the joy of living the life to which Christ has called us?

  • What if, rather than continuing to let resentment, fear, hatred, and other negative thoughts and attitudes fester in us towards our neighbor, we instead turned to a way of thinking that allows us to give our neighbor the benefit of the doubt? What would a world look like where you allowed God's peace to reign in your heart, mind, and soul, not because of anything you might get out of it, but rather because it is the attitude that Christ exemplified in thought, word, and deed?

  • What is it, here and now, that we are doing in our lives to put ourselves in position to be a better person on December 31, 2019, as compared to who we are today, January 9, 2019? What habits do we need to embrace, what habits do we need to shed, what relationships do we need to heal, what attitudes do we need to release, what grudges and resentments do we need to ditch, so that we may find ourselves better overall because we are no longer held hostage by these things?

Friends, nothing is likely to change in our lives and/or the lives of those around us if we do not take hold of every moment we have been given to allow God to manifest within us a new creation, one born of the freedom that comes from accepting and sharing the Word made Flesh, Immanuel, God with us.

Grace and Peace, Lamar