Are you one of those who selects a word for the new year? I’ve done that in the past, but hadn’t really thought about it this year until I noticed them showing up on social media. After much deliberation, I’ve decided on a word to help me frame 2018 in a productive way. My word for this year is …
The dictionary defines authentic as being “made or done in the traditional or original way, or in a way that faithfully resembles an original.” Oh, how I would love to resemble the Ultimate Original – the One who made me in His image!
Some of my friends, after getting to know me, often say that I’m different than who they first thought I was. In some ways, I take this as a compliment. Especially, when they finally get a handle on my warped sense of humor. Other times, I realize their first impression of me was much better than the real thing.
What about you? Are you who you everyone thinks you are? Are you authentic?
Jesus said in the Sermon on the Mount “You are the light of the world.” (Matthew 5:14) But then John recorded Him saying, “I am the light of the world.” (John 8:12) So, which is it? Is Jesus the light, or are we?
The only way you and I can be the light in this world is to reflect the light we absorb from Jesus. It’s hard to absorb something we’re not immersed into. A counterfeiter does not waste time studying bogus bills; he studies the original – the authentic, and so must we. However, we are not to merely study our God-given pattern for our lives; we also get to bask in His presence. We feel His love surround us. We lean on His power to help us overcome. We spend so much time with Him that walking just a few steps away from the warmth of His glow immediately sends cold shivers down our spines. Stepping back into the light is all we can think about.
Maybe you have no idea what I’m talking about. Perhaps you can’t even imagine ever experiencing the presence of God. In fact, you really have no idea how to begin such a process. Let me encourage you to try two things for at least six months.
- Find a reading plan that takes you through the Bible. It doesn’t really matter which one you choose. Just begin reading.
- Talk to God about what you’ve read, and then ask Him to show you what needs changing in your life.
Okay, three things.
- Don’t resist the change.
Change is not easy. The longer you’ve been bound by something, the longer it takes to overcome it. It is definitely a process, but one that is SO worth it!
I’ve set my heart this year toward being an authentic follower of Jesus. The changes I know I’ll be asked to make scare the living daylights out of me, but I’d rather listen to Jesus, the original, than give in to Satan, that sneaky old pretender.
Maybe this is not the trek God is asking you to make this year, but you can be assured He’s asking you to make one.
So … what’s your word for 2018?