Written by Nathan White of Edmonton, Alberta

I firmly believe that there is a heart behind everything you do. You have to dig into the outward appearance of a situation, celebration, or movement in order to find its truth.

On the outside, the New Year’s Eve parties around the world are often painted with a picture of high-energy excitement and the “anything can happen mentality.” But what’s the heart? Underneath all of the lights and glamour, and let’s be honest, alcohol, are a lot of sad and broken hearts wishing away the mistakes of last year and hanging on until 12:00, waiting on a new fresh year to begin. There is a desire to toss out the old news and promise ourselves that, “this year will be different.”

There’s nothing wrong with seeing areas of your life that need work and starting fresh, but it is naive to think we will be able to do that without a Saviour.

I do this too! I try to trick myself into thinking that with enough hard work that I could make some changes to myself that would make me better, richer, thinner, and happier. But I’ve rarely gone to the One who can actually change my heart in a way where I will be operating at my fullest potential, instead of trying not to drown in the ocean of resolutions and giving up because I’m not strong enough to manage them all.

Numbers 18:29 says, “Be sure to give to the Lord the best portions of the gifts given to you.”

I’m not saying you have to celebrate within the four walls of a building called church, but I encourage you, as 2016 comes to a close, to examine the heart you’re aligned with. Are you aligned with the heart of God, who is the only one that can make old things new and bad things good? Or are you aligned with the heart of the world, which seeks to drown the sorrows and hope that with enough hard work next year might be better.

I don’t know the answer to whether celebrating at church is better than celebrating out of the church? But I know that in all we do, having a heart aligned with God’s is the safest and most fruitful place to be.

New Year’s Eve is exciting. Have fun, be with good people, and remember that December 31 and January 1 are precious gifts from God. Thank Him for that and every other blessing in your life. He is worthy of our praise. Give Him the best portions of the gifts given to you.