Happy New Year!
At the start of each new calendar year, many people make one or more promises to themselves. Called new year’s resolutions, these promises often deal with eating a better diet, stopping bad habits or becoming more consistent at doing good things like helping other people or spending more time reading the Bible.
As Christians (note: you don’t have to be a Christian to be a trailman in Trail Life USA, but Trail Life does promote ideas from the Bible) we have a range of advice, instructions and directives from the Bible. Our motto, Walk Worthy, comes from the Bible, too. In Ephesians 4, verses 17 thru 32, there are a number of suggestions on ways to walk worthy by becoming a “new person” because of our relationship with Christ as our personal redeemer – Christ paid the penalty for our wrongdoing against God.
Consider verses 22-24 (NASB) which state;
…in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.
This reminds me of setting and working to achieve a new year’s resolution with one difference – this is the type of resolution that we work on throughout our lives.
This section of the Bible continues by providing some examples of ways we can walk worthy by putting on our new selves and getting rid of our old ways (verses 25-32 (NASB )):
Therefore, laying aside falsehood, speak truth each one of you with his neighbor, for we are members of one another. Be angry, and yet do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and do not give the devil an opportunity. He who steals must steal no longer; but rather he must labor, performing with his own hands what is good, so that he will have something to share with one who has need. Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear. Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.
So how about you, Trailman? Do you have any resolutions to “Walk Worthy” in the new year? Do these verses inspire you to create or modify any resolutions?
Here’s are some thought questions for older trailmen:
- Can we achieve these goals of modified behavior on our own, or do we need God’s help to really live these ideals on a consistent basis?
- If we make a mistake or fail in one of these areas, how would that affect you? Would you give up trying or simply bring this before God and ask His forgiveness and help in doing better on a go-forward basis?
- Is the goal here to behave a certain way to earn God’s favor (no) or is it to behave a new way out of gratitude for the work that Christ has accomplished on our behalf freely?