Summary: A look at resolutions, and how to be a better you!
We’re about 3 weeks into the new year, and with the new year, always comes “New Year’s Resolutions.”
How many of you made resolutions this year?
What are some of your resolutions?
Now, How many of you are still sticking with those resolutions?
It seems like every year that comes around, I make a resolution to lose weight, or get in shape, and it goes well for a couple of weeks, or sometimes, months, and then…I miss a couple days at the gym, and I only go like once a week, and then once a week turns into once every two weeks, and then once a month, until I just stop going almost completely.
Maybe you’ve got something in your life that you’ve been meaning to change for a long time. Or maybe it’s just that you want to be a better you, and you’re not quite sure how to do it, so you make a resolution to eat better, or you make a resolution to read more, or you make a resolution to pray more, or to stop being mean to people. Whatever it is, maybe there is something in your life that has become a rut. Like you’re stuck in the mud, and you’re spinning your tires, and you just can’t seem to get out. Well, tonight, I’d like to talk to you about becoming a better you.
We’re not just talking about goals or resolutions here, we’re talking about something new. Something better. There’s always something better on the horizon. Like, right after I bought my 80 gb iPod like 2 years ago, they came out with a smaller 80 gig, and even a 160 gig. Now, they have the iPhone, and the iPod touch, and I bet as soon as you got your xBox 360, they came out with the Playstation 3, or when you decide to get a new phone, a couple months later, an even better phone comes out! It never ends. Technology is always coming up with something better than before. But why?
I think they start making things, and then after it’s made, they realize that it’s got some quirks, and they can make it faster, more powerful, and even more efficient, so they work at it. What happens, is that they are constantly changing, and coming up with better versions of existing items, and sometimes, completely new items.
I think some of us are like some of those companies—wanting to make a better version of our self every new year. And some of us are like the Mac vs. PC commercials.
(Show a few ads)
We’re the PC version of our self, when we could be the Mac version. I think for a lot of us, it’s time to upgrade to a new us.
There was a time in the Bible when Jesus was questioned about fasting by the Pharisees, and he tells them this parable, Luke 5:36-39, “ 36He told them this parable: "No one tears a patch from a new garment and sews it on an old one. If he does, he will have torn the new garment, and the patch from the new will not match the old. 37And no one pours new wine into old wineskins. If he does, the new wine will burst the skins, the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. 38No, new wine must be poured into new wineskins. 39And no one after drinking old wine wants the new, for he says, 'The old is better.' "
Jesus is trying to tell his followers and the Pharisees here that it’s time for something new. You see, when a seamstress wants to mend a piece of clothing, it wouldn’t be wise for them to take a new piece of material and mend it with the old one. There would be two problems: 1) it would ruin the new garment by tearing it. 2) it wouldn’t match the old one. The second part of the parable is just as interesting. In the first century, wine was stored in leather wineskins, instead of bottles, and it was either made from sheep or goat skin that was dried and cured until the leather could be shaped into containers to hold the wine. When the skins were new, they were soft and pliable, and could expand, but as they got older they often lost their elasticity; they wouldn’t give anymore. They would become hardened and set, and they couldn’t expand. If a person tried to pour new wine that was just pressed into an old wineskin, it would burst and thus, produce a tragic waste of wine. New wine needed new wineskins. Wineskins that were soft, and pliable, and could expand to hold the new wine.
Jesus was trying to tell his followers that it’s time for something new. But the new you can’t be held in the old version of you. There’s no room for expansion. There’s no room for growth, until you get rid of the old wineskins, or in this case, the old way of thinking. You’ve got to expand your vision, if you want to have a better upgraded version of yourself. And this is what it takes. Paul says in 2 Corinthians 5:17, “if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation, the old has gone, and the new has come.” If you are to have a new you, then you’ve got to get in Christ. If you want to be a better listener, then you’ve got to have Christ help you. If you want to be able to pray more, or read more, or be nicer at school, or be better at guitar, or singing, or giving, or loving, then you’ve got to be in Christ. You’ve got to ask Christ to help you with your upgrade!