New Year, New You?

We are used to the narrative peddled at us each year: the beginning of a new year should mean resolutions we can only really keep up for approximately 4 weeks before our enthusiasm wanes. It should also mean a healthier lifestyle: more veggies, more exercising and less of all of our vices like alcohol, smoking, chocolates etc. You can see it in the adverts for things like monthly food boxes, gym subscriptions and vegan products. And to a certain extent, I understand it; we all like to think we can achieve a better ‘me’ each year. For a while I ate it up too, only to find myself in March deeply disappointed in my laziness.

But why keep doing the same thing each year? Especially now, after 2 years of potentially the worst years for many, surely we’ve had enough of the status quo and being disappointed. So why continue this narrative in 2022?

“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

Romans 5:8

What about adopting a new thought process? Yes there are things we want to do differently, prioritise, change about ourselves. But cut yourself some slack. Firstly the festive period can be stressful, especially for the matriarch of a family/household (sorry guys). The pressure of buying the perfect gifts, wrapping them, cooking the perfect meal and serving it on time, spending longer periods of time with family or in laws that aren’t necessarily your favourites, the uncertainty of the Omicron variant and dreaded last minute positive results. This last month alone was stressful. Yet alone when thinking about the last 2 years… I don’t know about any of you, but I am tired. Pandemic fatigue has well and truly set in…

So thinking about entering a new year, feels like a lot. Will this year really be better than the last one…or two? Who knows, but maybe give yourself some grace. At the end of the day, God Himself loves us for exactly who we are. You may not feel like you deserve Godโ€™s love. To be fair, no one does, us being sinners and all. But the amazing news is that He loves you anyway.

That is grace: God loves you so much that He paid the price to offer you the gift of eternal life. None of us deserves it based on our own actions or how religious we think we are. Godโ€™s love is a precious gift we should treasure.

So rather than focusing on all the things that need to be changed, that you need to be better at, how much weight you need to lose, think about all the things you can be thankful for. Think about all the things God has provided and surrounded you with. From this point of view it’ll be more likely that you’ll have more realistic goals set in reality, rather than hating how much we ate or drank over the festive season and aiming to be T-total vegans and losing 10lbs a week for 6 months.

If we could only see ourselves more like how God does, focusing on the positives, rather than the negatives… You are already enough, you don’t need to be a new you. Sure there are things we could all be working on, but we’ve had some of the worst times over the last couple of years. So give yourself a break and know that no matter what, you are loved. By Him. Always.

But God is so rich in mercy, and He loved us so much, that even though we were dead because of our sins, He gave us life when He raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by Godโ€™s grace that you have been saved!)

Ephesians 2:4-5 (NKJV)

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