A New You For a New Year!

Rev. J. Loren Russell

By Re. Dr. J. Loren Russell

Ephesians 4:22 – 27 (KJV)

That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another. Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Neither give place to the devil.

The new year is not when I make my new year resolutions. I save that for my personal new year; my birthday. Paul does not write this epistle at the dawn of a new year, and I don’t think it was anyone’s birthday. Using a wardrobe analogy, he challenges his readers to to take off their deceitful and lustful behavior, and to take on the characteristics of righteousness and true holiness.

Paul is emphasizing the transformation of the old man/woman into the new man/woman. A new you for a new year. His advice is well given and should be taken very seriously, especially today. Robbing, killing, stealing and illicit sexual allegations are so commonplace today that only peripheral attention is given to new reported cases.

These are examples attributed to the types of behaviors of the old man/woman. But choosing to take on the new results in a person becoming righteous and having true holiness. Taking on the new empowers you to put away lying; to speak truth to every neighbor; to unify as believers and with one another as members of one body. The new gives us the ability to be angry, but always ready to quickly reconcile so that the sun does not go down on our wrath. Most of all, the new man/woman strengthens us so that we do not give place to the devil.

Here are a few more choices to make as a new man/woman for a new year:
Never allow your situation to determine your celebration;
Never allow your location to determine your destination;
Don’t let what you’re going through stop you from where you are going to;
Remember that holding on to your mess will mess you up;
Release all bitterness over things that happened yesterday and what might happen tomorrow;
Have no more regrets over what you didn’t do or that didn’t get done;

Take on the new man/woman. This is your year for blessings, not disaster; a year of hope, not of despair; a year to have a listening ear from God the Father, a comforter in the Holy Spirit, and a master architect for your life in Jesus the Christ!

It’s a new you for a New Year!

Rev. J. Loren Russell is an associate minister at both Goodwill and The Greater Universal Baptist Churches in the Bronx, President/CEO of The JLR Company for Church Financial & Strategic Consulting, host of “Matters of Faith – The Radio Show” on Soul 1 Radio, Monday’s 8:00 – 10:00 PM (Call-in: 626-226-1448), and author of Matters of Faith: The Book.