I’m totally selling a new brand of running shoe
I get it. You’re way past New Year’s resolutions. That hype went out of style when cassette tapes were the top option in cars and, in the day, trucks were trucks in that they didn’t have posh back row seating or such fancy things as electronic windows and door locks.
Being a Christian isn’t a one-day-a-year page turner where you focus on self-improvement; it’s a life-long process. Christianity is all about (or should be all about) the long-term journey of self-discovery through our perpetual need for Jesus Christ and the awareness of our sins. Here’s the Apostle Paul on this:
Romans 3:23-24 For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Yet God, in his grace, freely makes us right in his sight. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins.
If I were the owner of a running shoe company because my cassette tape business bellied-up, or if Ford, Chevy, or GM fired me as an engineer because I insisted that our pick-ups never have extended seating or came with the option of built-in heating and cooling units, then I’d start a business and design a whole line of PAUL brand running shoes. Not a bad idea, right? Here’s the Apostle again when it comes to going the distance.
Philippians 3:14 I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.
Hebrews 12:1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.
Christians don’t do the whole New Year’s Eve resolutions thing because each day we run with endurance this race God has set before us. Is this race easy? We all know the answer to that question. Sometimes, challenges (or weights) slow us down. But that’s when this huge crowd of witnesses Paul talks about comes in to the one hurting or struggling.
Many, many times before fulltime ministry and in fulltime ministry, I’ve been lifted by the people of the church, and that has made a huge difference. Actually, it’s made the difference.
If you’re floundering, stop. Get in the church that has people say (and do) this: “Hey, I know you’re in a tough spot now from what you share and what I see, and in love, dude, I’ll pray for you.”
The “dude” may or may not be in the sentence you hear, but we don’t need once New Year’s resolutions when those around us have our backs 24/7/365 and hold so tenderly hold our broken or bruised heart.
Everyone has sinned. The perfect Christian circle doesn’t exist. The perfect Christian church is an ideal, not an actuality. But it works. I’m proof.
Be made new in this New Year. When in Christ, or, more accurately, when striving to be in Christ, Paul says what we need to hear and hold. “The old life is gone; a new life has begun (2 Corinthians 5:17b)!”
Even without my totally cool and freshly designed PAUL brand running shoes on your feet (although I know you want a pair), live the new life.
PRAYER: I am running, Lord. In the storms and those mountains climbs—or especially through the storms and those ______ (fill-in-the-blank) mountain climbs, I am running to You—my Savior, Lord, and King. You are my source, my goal. And I’m not running alone. Amen.