The Beginning of the New Year: The Call for the Decision of Decisions

January 1will ushers in a new, year, 2022. One of the things associated with the eve of a New Year or New Year’s Day is the making of New Year’s Resolutions. Many people around the world do but a number of them do not keep those resolutions.

This pre-new year article aims to urge all readers, including the writer, to consider a resolution of the most important kind, to decide or recommit to taking sides either with God (good) or with Satan (evil). The premise of this article is that there is no neutral ground; one is either for God and all that He stands for or, for the other side and all that choice or side implies.

Therefore, we will be encouraging all to take the decision of decisions or the choice of all choices, to be on the side of good and not evil. 

Stephen Bayne, an Episcopal bishop, once wrote the “life is choice." Every day we make myriad of choices or decisions small and great. He reminds us that no choice in life is neutral. Every choice has its consequence (s). It can be as minor as wearing black or white at a funeral  and as great as something that affects one’s entire life such as marriage or career choice.

Most of what a person becomes in life is determined by the kind of choices one makes. In short, destinies are mostly the outcomes of choices or a set of choices. Rick warren writes, “If you tell me what you are committed to, I will tell you what you will become.” A commitment is a consequence of a particular choice of a set of choices.

John, the Evangelist writes in 1 John, “This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light and in him there is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not live according to the truth; but if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship wi3th one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from all sin” (1 John 1:5-7).

Here John presents the reader with a choice of being in the light or walking in the light or choosing to be in the darkness or walking the darkness. However, we cannot do both successfully. As Jesus teaches, No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money” (Matthew 6:24).

In the Bible light is a symbol of holiness, goodness, knowledge, wisdom, grace, hope, righteousness, truth and revelation while darkness is the symbol of sin, evil, unrighteousness, corruption and despair. I urge you and myself tonight or on the first day of 2022 to choose or recommit ourselves to being in the Light or walking the Light or choose to be in the darkness or walking in the darkness. Each choice has its consequences.

We can deliberately choose to be on the side of right (God, light, goodness, hope, grace and truth) or to be on the side of evil (darkness, sin, evil, unrighteousness and corrupt ways). Each choice will require serious commitment.

There is an abundance of both light and darkness around us. If we choose any we have plenty opportunities and resources to help us along the way.

I pray that you and I choose light and be determined by God’s grace to remain in it. There is too much evil in the world, various corrupt ways of abandoning principles of truth telling and living, choosing only those things that help one and one’s inner circles, doing unethical things to get what one wants, whether it is power or wealth, and ignoring the needs and hurts of others.

This choice to be on the side of evil may bring temporary relief, success and satisfaction but in the long run it brings more sorrows or problems than it solves. Ultimately, evil cannot and must not pay; it hurts those who choose its paths.

It will end in regrets. Jesus said that those who live by the sword will likewise die by the sword. In other words, if you succeed by evil means evil means will one day destroy or undo you. Many, especially the youths, are tempted by adults who choose evil ways and succeed quickly and appear to be enjoying life but the end is likely to be bad in one form or the other.

Choosing to be on the side of right or walking in the light means the determination never to be part of anything that will intentionally hurt or denigrate other people. It means to desire and determine never to be a part of the problem but rather be a part of the solution in all situations.

To walk in the light is to be willing to suffer for doing that which is right rather than choosing corrupt means even though the intent may be good. Righteousness always wins in the end. The writer of Proverbs teaches that righteousness exalts a nation while sin is a reproach to any nation or people that choose it (Proverbs 14:34).

This principle of being on the side of right exalts an individual or institution while sin hurts all ultimately. Prayer and fasting are not enough; people must choose to do right if they are to be blessed. Paul concludes, “Let us stop doing the things that belong to the dark, and let us take up weapons for fighting in the light. Let us conduct ourselves properly, as people who live in the light of day—no orgies or drunkenness, no immorality or indecency, no fighting or jealousy” (Romans 13:12-13). He also advises, “Hate what is evil and hold fast to what is good” (Romans 12:9).