Not Another New Year

Friday, December 30, 2011

This article was written by our S.W.A.P., Melanie Joyce Johnson, for Virtuous Magazine (Winter 2010/2011) of which she is a repeat contributor. We felt these words would be an encouragement to you this year like it was to many women last New Years. Hope you enjoy!


Oh no! Not another New Year’s resolution article telling me how to be a better Christian woman than I was last year! I’m tired of reading my bible EVERY day or praying ALL day. What will it be this year? Lose 10, 15, 20 pounds? Spend more time with my family? Get the career I’ve always wanted? Buy the latest Donna Karan dress, Coach bag, or Milano pumps to catch that cutie’s eye that’s been eyeing me in Bible Class? If you are thinking these thoughts, I urge you to slow down and wait before turning the page. Before you go run in gloom and doom because you didn’t measure up to the Proverbs 31 woman last year, take a moment to just be the woman that God created You, and only You, to be this year. Ask yourself, what can and will I do to be the new woman this year that I did not become last year?

If only the year had a few more weeks so that you could have gotten everything right, gotten yourself together, and gotten your family on the road to newness and growth. If only that would not have happened or this did not occur to hold me back. If only I didn’t experience loss or misfortune. If only. Stay away from the “if only” mindset that seems to resurface every New Year and “be renewed in the spirit of your mind” (Ephesians 4:23). You may be thinking, so what is so different about 2011? Of course, a new hairstyle will not make you new; you’ll just be the same woman with new hair. The change of wardrobe will not make you new; you’ll just be the same woman with new clothes on. It’s like putting a shiny gold ring in a pig’s snout; it’s not a new pig, just the same pig walking around with jewelry on! It’s a cover up.

Newness requires a complete change. It means something different, noticeably different has happened. How often do we dress up our outside to look like how we feel inside? Rarely, right? I’m sure your clothes don’t stink like your attitude does at times. I bet your shoes are not worn down like your spirit is after being berated by someone overbearing. I know your pants aren’t too short like your anger fuse is, nor are your shirts dripping wet, like your soul is from crying inside from hurt and pain you may have experienced. Usually, we are likely to dress up our outer person to show the opposite of how we truly feel inside. So why not focus your mind on things above, so that your outer appearance can shine like new money. Transformed thinking gives birth to complete change.

When we look in the mirror, the reflection of Christ should be staring right back at us. Colossians 3:2-3 states, “set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead and your life is hid with Christ in God.” According to these scriptures we as new Christian women in the year 2011 should be looking up to heaven and looking more like Christ than we were last year. How do we look like Christ? Philippians 2:5, says “let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.” The first step to a spiritual makeover would be a mental transformation. Changing from looking like the way this world looks, to thinking and speaking more and more like our Savior, Jesus Christ would. What we think about things, should be what Jesus would think. If He says we can do it, we should believe and speak this to ourselves! Our responses to evildoers, low self-esteem, troubles and trials, are just obstacles that God has endowed us with power to overcome! Jesus knew that to be a new creature in Christ that we needed to have a change of mind, which would lead to a change of belief, and change of action.

As stated before, we are to “set our minds on things above.” That includes God in all His glory and heaven in all its splendor. When our focus is on the things around us, or if we are steadily looking back into the rearview mirrors of our lives, we will eventually wreck up. No one wants to be a spiritual wreck, or even around someone that is a spiritual wreck, so strive daily to keep your mind ahead, and focused on God and the hope of heaven and you are bound to reach your destination to a new you safely. Remove your focus from what man is doing and let this new year bring a new focus: God of heaven and a new spiritual you of purpose.

Newness also requires a spiritual death. Say goodbye to the evil woman of your old self and walk happily in the new you of today! In 1 Corinthians 7:22-23, God has called us to be free of the slave master, Sin, that we served when we were his enemy and to embrace the freedom in being his precious child. He bought us with a price that could not be recompensed, the shed blood of his Only Son, Jesus. Spiritual death is hard to come by, because our human selves unbury that old woman who gave us comfort in our sins. Imagine looking in the mirror today and seeing the woman you were last year, or the year before...oh, what a horrible unchanged sight. We wouldn’t leave a dirty diaper on a baby for a year; you would change that thing before germs fly and infection occurs in the baby and those around. So what keeps you from changing your dirty habits? Sin will stink if it is not changed. Your thinking will stink, your attitude will stink, and your work efforts will stink. “When sin is full grown it brings forth death” (James 1:15). Try your hardest not to bring that dead woman walking into the New Year!

So, how do you become new? What has to change? It’s easy to change the outward appearance to look new. Yet, believe me if you do not seek to improve the woman you are inside, the outside woman won’t shine as bright. The most important asset to becoming the NEW YOU is the changing of your heart and your priorities. Exercising a daily self-examination against God’s Word will make your yearly transition to the new you, less painful and much smoother. This year, will your change of attitude get as much attention as your new outfit? Will your renewed energy in serving God turn heads like the mention of your new promotion? Start to think spiritually rather than carnally. Being a better woman in Christ each year will take work though. “I knew it” you may be saying to yourself! More lecture on what to do and what not to do, right? Actually, my sister, you already know right from wrong in many cases. Who am I to tell you otherwise? God has already equipped you with the know-how, because if He didn’t we would not be running around each New Year, trying to be better and do better. It’s a matter of using what you have. So, drop those pounds of shoulda, woulda, couldas, and live in the, I CAN! I WILL! I AM! Because after all, YOU ARE!


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4 comments

  1. I absolutely love the encouraging words...u was talking to me this morning! I'm always trying to change things about me to make me feel better bc.I'm.broken n some.places on the inside and do not acknowledge them.so I see it has to.come.from within...please.continue to pray wit me and for me that I would become.that kept woman that God has called me to be...thank u!

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  2. N.D.,

    It hit home for us too and you know us, we just have to share it with others! We are praying for you, knowing that in God you no longer have to feel broken. Giving your all, giving your life to God and being obedient to His Word, will bring the healing that you need. We are here as a help and encouragement to you, so that you can become a better woman for Him.

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  3. I am so blessed to have found your ministry. Your words are so powerful and right on target. I look forward to the daily messages and lessons that you post. Please keep up the awesome work you do in Jesus name :)

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  4. Thank you so much Sharon for that...we are even more thankful that you found us! We are striving daily to please God and it warms our hearts to know our words have uplifted you! We so look forward to 2012 where we can grow with you in the Lord. May He keep on blessing you Sharon!

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