taking the words of Jesus seriously

Each year I remix some of my hopes and dreams for the New Year, bringing some from last year and adding a few new ones.  Here’s the latest remix:

  1. Do for one person what I wish that I could do for everyone, but can’t.
  2. Practice resurrection.  Make ugly things beautiful and bring dead things back to life.  Paint a new mural in our neighborhood.  And make some cool stuff out of trash.  Look for God in the unlikely places.
  3. Interrupt death.  Do something regularly to interrupt the patterns of violence, bullying, war, capital punishment and other mean and ugly things. Maybe we can see another few states in the US abolish the death penalty in 2013.
  4. Give more money away than I keep.  And do it in a way that takes away the power of money and celebrates the power of love.
  5. Write letters and notes to people, letting them know I am thankful for them.  Write a note asking for forgiveness from someone I need to ask to forgive me.
  6. Do something really nice – that no one sees or knows about.
  7. Compliment someone I have a hard time complimenting… and mean it.
  8. Pause before every potential crisis and ask:  “Will this matter in 5 years?”
  9. Get outdoors often.  And enjoy things like fireflies and shooting stars.  Take someone to the beach or the mountains for their first time. And regularly get my hands into the garden… so when I type on the computer I can see dirt under my fingernails.
  10. Learn a skill – like welding – and use it for something redemptive, like turning a machine gun into a farm tool.
  11. Rather than emphasizing the best of myself and finding the worst in others – let me work on the worst in myself and look for the best in others.
  12. Be aware – and beware — of blessings.  Do something to abstain, fast, or delay gratification.  And do something to indulge in a gift of God.  Then do something to end inequality and move the world toward God’s dream for every person to have “this day our daily bread”.
  13. Believe in miracles.  And live in a way that might necessitate one.

Photo Credit: Vincenzo Papa/ Getty Images

About The Author


Shane Claiborne is a best-selling author, renowned activist,
 sought-after speaker, and self-proclaimed “recovering sinner.” Shane writes and speaks around the world about peacemaking, social justice, and Jesus, and is the author of several books, 
including "The Irresistible Revolution," "Jesus for President," "Executing Grace," "Beating Guns," and his newest book, "Rethinking Life (released in Feb 2023)." He is the visionary leader of The Simple Way in Philadelphia and co-director of Red Letter Christians. His work has been featured in Fox News, Esquire, SPIN, TIME, the Wall Street Journal, NPR, and CNN.

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