“Dear friend, I hope all is well with you and that you are as healthy in body as you are strong in spirit.” 3 John 2 (NLT).
This time of year, we begin to think about our New Year resolutions. These resolutions are promises to change a habit, improve a character quality, or bring some sort of self-improvement into our lives – beginning January 1. Roughly one in three of us resolve to make ourselves better in some way in the new year. And nearly all of us never make good on those resolutions.
Maybe we should approach 2017 in a different way.
Instead of writing our list of improvements and then showing them to God, asking for his help, why not begin 2017 seeking him FIRST? Let’s totally rely on God’s help in our journey for health in our body, soul, and spirit.
In January 2016, my church had a series for the month called Seek. I decided to put off my New Year’s resolutions and instead just seek God with no agenda of my own or resolutions list. Instead, I just quietly listened to what he wanted to speak to me, and where he brought me caught me by surprise. He led me to deal with grief in a new way. There had been some work-related changes in my life that I had tucked away in my heart, and instead had filled my life with “busy.” God brought all those disappointments and transitions to the forefront and gently led me through grieving each one of them. It was a month of healing and restoration as I focused on what God wanted to accomplish in my life.
I love how John begins his third letter by praying that his dear friend is healthy in body and strong in spirit. That is my prayer in 2017 for myself and YOU also.
Dr. Brian Simmons writes in the Passion Translation of 3 John 2: “Beloved friend, I pray that you are prospering in every way, and that you continually enjoy good health, just as your soul is prospering.”
To prosper means that we are being brought along to a smooth and successful journey.
Joshua wrote of the prosperous life this way: “Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do” (Joshua 1:8, NLT).
So as we head into 2017, I want to encourage you to wait just a month before you make your New Year resolutions. Instead, give the month of January to God. Seek him, read and meditate on the Word, and quiet your heart to see where he will lead you. Then, at the end of the month, make your list of resolutions that line up with where God has led you.