And as Jesus grew up, he increased in wisdom and in favor with God and people.
~ Luke 2v52 (TNIV).
As we look to make some new changes this new year, and as we look to Jesus for direction for this new year, we'd do well to ponder Luke's summary statement of Jesus' young life. It's worth noting that what we want for our life is what was true of Jesus'. When you take into account all of the changes we'd like to see in our life, most of the worthy changes could be summed up in the categories of wisdom and favor. We want more wisdom, we want more favor. I suppose, as we think to the year ahead, if want more wisdom and favor like Jesus had, we'd do well to follow his Way.
Jesus' life was one of integrity: before he showed us how to increase in wisdom and favor, he did it first. Consider the changes you want to see in other people's life. You could probably sum up most of those changes under the categories of wisdom and favor. In being like Jesus, we must first increase in wisdom and favor if we want others to increase in wisdom and favor.
To sum it up in a phrase: Be the change you wish to see in the world (a paraphrase of Ghandi).
Or - another way to put it: Be the Jesus you wish to see in the world. As you increase in wisdom and favor, it will overflow into the lives of others around you. But you can't pour out what is not being poured in. As you follow the way of Jesus, you will be going the way of wisdom and favor, you will have it poured into you so that as you live wisely and favorably, it can be poured out.
As you look to make changes this year, consider the task of reconciliation. If you are going to go the way of Jesus, this is his major task - one which requires much wisdom and favor. Maybe, as you grow in wisdom and favor this year, you'll be convicted to right your wrongs; to make up for your mistakes, to fix what you broke. Or, maybe you'll commit to working through the consequences of your sins.
Make this new year count: be the Jesus you wish to see in your home, your church, your neighborhood, your school, your workplace, your world.