The new year is a time of new resolutions. After the holidays we might have eaten a little too much and are looking to shed a few pounds. It is also possible, for a variety of reasons, that the last year might not have been the best year, so we are looking to make some changes in our life or move forward in an area of our life.

Businesses know this is a season of New Year’s resolutions so they take advantage of the fact that we are looking to make the change and the fact that we might have some holiday gift cards or cash.

We make new commitments and goals as we seek to better ourselves. Most notably, the exercise industry makes a huge profit during this time as we get memberships at our local gym or buy the latest exercise equipment. The results, as we know all too well, over time typically wane, we lose our commitment and no longer follow through with our commitments.

Improving ourselves and becoming better people is an admirable goal, but I wonder sometimes if our goals are too small. Sometimes I think we view our faith in a similar way. I think sometimes we’ve held a view of Christianity as a religious form of sin management. If we do good things like pray, read our Bible and go to church, then we will get certain outputs.

And while doing these things is all good and helpful, I think we can still sense in our life that at times we can relate to Paul, who says in Romans 7:15, “I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.”

I think what we need is a total transformation. We don’t need to just tidy up a few areas of our life or fix a few broken parts. Instead we need God to come into our hearts and totally transform us.

I like the way it is put in Ezekiel 36:26: “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.”

This year, instead of just making a couple of resolutions, I challenge you to open your heart to God so that the spirit may come in and totally restore your heart. Instead of looking to just fix a few behaviors, my prayer for you this year is that you will find yourself in the presence of God.

It is in those moments where God can fix the most broken hearts and instead of just fixing a few areas, you might end up finding the best thing of all – a loving and intimate relationship with your creator.

In 2022 may you find and nurture a relationship with a God who would move heaven and earth to be with you. Happy New Year!

The Rev. Tyler Goudeau is senior minister at Poncha Springs Church of Christ.

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