As I was reviewing my New Years Resolutions from last year, I noticed something:
They were all about me.
For example, I looked at my list from last year:
- Eat healthy and get in better shape.
- Make my blog more successful.
- Get a book contract.
- Fall in love.
All about me.
Take a look at your list of New Years Resolutions. Most of the time, they are about us. How can I do better, feel better, and be happier? How can I improve, reach my goals, and be the best version of myself?
Me, me, me.
Jesus had a different perspective. His goal wasn’t for you and I to just ‘feel better’ or ‘reach our goals’ or ‘be the best we can be.’ Not that any of those are bad per se, but they weren’t his main focus. His main focus was loving and serving others.
When an expert in the law asked him what the greatest commandment was, Jesus replied, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments” (Matthew 22:37-40).
When two of Jesus’ disciples asked to sit in places of honor in heaven, Jesus confronted their ideas about what made someone great. “Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom to many” (Mark 10:43-45).
When describing what it truly means to love others, Jesus focused on sacrifice. “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” (John 15:13).
This year, make at least one New Years Resolution that is focused on loving and serving others. Don’t make your goals just about you.
Discussion: What are your New Years Resolutions? Are they more about you, or more about loving and serving others?