I don’t know what, specifically, there is about a “new year” that drives millions of people to construct lists of resolutions. Usually, these are nothing more than things we (as people) are either: (1) Under conviction of; or, (2) In full recognition that action must be taken. Some might say those 2 are related and for the most part, they are. Yet, it is also true that some are in full conviction of something but will take no action.
Years ago when I was working in Manufacturing, I had an employee in my department who had a continual pattern of being late to work on Monday mornings. This went on for several weeks. Then, coupled with the Monday morning tardies, a new pattern started to emerge: having to leave early on Friday afternoons. It didn’t take long to put 2 and 2 together. The pattern began to negatively impact the department and others, and we had to go through the process of warnings and time off w/out pay (the company regulation). Things improved for about 3 weeks, and then, it resurfaced once more. Unfortunately, this person was told they had to go 3 months without an unexcused tardy, and they missed it by 10 weeks. So they were terminated.
Stepping back from that situation and looking at it as an illustration of a deeper issue, I saw a person who was “under conviction” to break a poor pattern. In meeting with them on 3 occasions, it was obvious this person realized the issue, the problem, and the need to correct it. But the conviction itself did not generate the desired outcome. You see, this individual verbalized (in very sincere words) their desire to “turn things around” and “get back into good standing.” But the conviction itself necessitated action, and the action failed to meet standard.
So what does this have to do with me? How is this practical?
What are you saying, pastor?
Those are great questions, stick with me. The Church, the body of Christ, is full of people who are under conviction but fail to act and/or allow God to act. It could be some sinful habit that lurks, that is hid in the dark where “no one will see.” Most of the time, however, it is seeking forgiveness from someone, reaching out to that person God has laid on your heart, getting serious about your faith, failing to give our very best to God, or allowing something petty to distract us. The conviction is there – the Holy Spirit provides it. But the action (on our behalf) ends up being no more than a thought. I know. I’ve been there. I’ve done that. Will not revert back to it : )
In 2011, with a new year and a new opportunity, perhaps we should pray and begin to allow the Holy Spirit to move us from conviction to action. Maybe there is something that we really need to do. I submit to you that each day God gives us is an opportunity to “throw out the old and put on the new” – for daily, He makes all things new. Procrastination and complacency do not draw us closer to God. Doing the doggy-paddle in lukewarm water and straddling the fence between God and the things of this world gets us no where. We are to cast the ballot, this day, Who (and what) we will serve, and worship, and give witness to. As 2010 closes out and as 2011 begins, why don’t we truly make this a year of worship, work, and witness for the Lord Jesus Christ and His Kingdom? He is worthy! He alone is worthy!
This Sunday (1-2-11), we will examine this in more detail. Yes, a year of the 3 “W’s” – all for Him.
Hope you will join us : )