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Butts: New Year, new life

Do you make New Year resolutions? Do you want to lose weight? Do you want to learn a new language? Maybe, you want to travel more. Or do you want to improve yourself in other ways? I try to make one every year. I know that a majority of people will not complete their New Year’s resolution. There are many reasons we give for it also. "I just wasn't meant to learn a new language." Or, "Running isn't my thing." We never hear anyone say, "I didn't know how to get started and I couldn't find anyone to help me." When starting something new it's always best to have someone else to guide you.

When I started working out two years ago, I had to ask people for guidance. I had to ask how to lift weights and what the best exercises were for me. I didn’t know anything about a gym or how to stretch. I had no idea how many miles were in a 5K. I had to ask others to help me out. I needed someone to explain things to me.

This whole guidance thing doesn’t just apply to your New Year’s resolution. It also applies to our walk with God. Sometimes we need to ask others for help. There are people you know that have been through situations very similar to yours. There are people you know that are dealing with the same emotions and feelings that you are experiencing. There are others that have the same struggles that you do.

The only thing you have to do is ask for help and that’s the hard part. We don’t want others to know what’s really going on with us. We like to show everyone that everything hunky dory. We like to pretend that all is well when it’s not. We do not want to be real and honest about our struggles.

When we are not honest with one another we cannot be there for each other. In 1 Thessalonians 5:11 the Apostle Paul tells us, “Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.” We cannot be encouraged if we are not honest about or struggles. We need to stop playing games and start being real with our friends, family, and fellow believers.

If we need encouragement or help we have to let others know what is going on in our lives. We have to be willing to show others who we really are and not pretend that all is well. If we do this then we will have people there to support us no matter what is going on in our life.

You can choose to keep on going the way you are but that is a hard and lonely path. I have tried to do things on my own and it is difficult. I have friends and family that are there to support and encourage me. They also call me out when I need it.

I hope and pray that you find some people to surround yourself with that you can be real with. The first step is that you have to choose to change, just like a New Year’s resolution. You have to decide what you are going to do; continue to do life alone or surround yourself with healthy, honest friendships. J.R.R Tolkien said it best in his book “The Fellowship of the Ring”, “All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.” Now is the time to decide. Happy New Year!

Andy Butts was born and raised in Newton County. He is the youth pastor at Journey Church in Oxford. He loves God, his wife, his children, food, Ethiopia, and Star Wars.