As we face the new year, Paul’s words strike me.
Besides this, since you know the time, it is already the hour for you to wake up from sleep, because now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. The night is nearly over, and the day is near; so let us discard the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. (11-12)
Every year that passes is another year we draw closer to Jesus’ return.
And so Paul says to put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.
It’s so easy, though, to think of the first things Paul mentions as “deeds of darkness”: carousing, drunkenness, sexual immorality.
But how often do we miss the latter part of what he says: to put aside quarreling and jealousy.
It might be good to look at James 3:13-4:10, because James expands on this more.
But as we go through 2019, let us search our hearts. What broken relationships do we have? And how much of it is due to envy and jealousy in our hearts? How much of it is due to wrong motives in our hearts, selfishly seeking out our own good and comfort? Or how often are we angry because we think, “I deserve better”?
Let us set aside these thoughts, and rest in the grace of God. And let us learn to be satisfied in him, following the words of James:
Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you…Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you. (James 4:8, 10)