PUCKETT: Happy New Year! Happy New Decade!

Published 8:52 am Friday, January 17, 2020

Even though most things remain the same, the occasion of the new year can add some momentum — a boost to our lives.

Few of us are really content — there are things we would like to change. There is a phrase in the “Serenity Prayer” that says it well. It is, “the courage to change the things I can.”

If you are a follower of Jesus Christ, you likely have several advocates for change. First of all, as a Christian, you have the indwelling Holy Spirit, who is constantly nudging you to be more Christ-like. If you are involved in a Christian community or church, you have fellow believers who are challenging you, hopefully, to a steady diet of biblical preaching that is leading you ever onward, ever upward.

If you are not a follower of Christ, you still have many incentives to change. Maybe the strongest incentive is from God Himself, who is gently wooing you to the kingdom of His dear Son, Jesus Christ. Or maybe friends, family or society itself, that keeps employing constant pressure to be thinner, healthier, smarter, more stylish, etc.

Whatever it is, we are constantly being challenged to change. Somebody said, “We will not change until the pain of not changing is greater than the pain of changing.” It is like Popeye used to say in the old “Popeye” cartoons as he was being harassed by some circumstance: “That’s all I can stand; I can’t stand no more!” Then Popeye would open the can of spinach, eat it, and suddenly be empowered to change things.

Now spinach will not change us, but the concept will. When we get sick and tired of the status quo, we will be open to change. One qualifying statement: There are some things we might like to change but should not. Another phrase in the Serenity Prayer applies here: “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot [or should not] change.” We need wisdom to know the difference.

One of the most significant changes you could make this new year is to become a follower of Christ. Or if you already follow Jesus, maybe dig in a little deeper. Whatever it is, look to God. He will guide you in every step even if it is your first experience in seeking Him.