15 and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
Are you a gamer? Do you Wii? XBox? Head shots? Angry Birds? If you're reading this on a computer screen, odds are you've at least dabbled and you've likely resolved either to a) spend less time playing in the new year or b) finally beat that game that's been kicking your tail.
Here's one thing that makes gaming so addictive: You get to start over. Every time. Whether you've played the level once or repeatedly, you start again and again with a clean slate. Maybe this time you'll be perfect.
It's that performance impulse that drives our New Year's list-making. "Yeah, I know I did not achieve the ideal last year. I was not the person I wanted to be morally or fiscally or socially or spiritually. But I'm about to start a new level. Maybe this time will be different. Maybe I'll be perfect."
Here's the first problem: God doesn't call us to fine-tune ourselves into better and better examples of the human machine, even the Christian human machine.
Second: If we are in Christ, He says he's already fixed us. "The new is here!" The game's been won. All the levels have been beat. Instead of trying to life-hack ourselves into perfection, God calls us to live in the new us he has already made.
It's not about the lists; Paul loved making lists of how Christ-changed people live. (See Colossians 3:1-17 if you're still looking for list ideas.) What it's about is power and focus: You already have God's power; what will you focus it on this year? Who will you "just live" for?
Dear Lord, help us to live as the new creation that You are making us into this year. Help us to in Your resolve to live for You. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.