I RESOLVE TO DRINK LESS ALCOHOL. I RESOLVE TO EAT HEALTHY FOOD. I RESOLVE TO LOSE WEIGHT AND GET FIT. I RESOLVE TO QUIT SMOKING. I RESOLVE TO MANAGE DEBT AND SAVE MONEY. I RESOLVE TO TRAVEL TO NEW PLACES.
According to USA.Gov, these are some of the most popular resolutions year after year. I’m sure they look familiar to you. You’ve made some of these in the past, haven’t you? Perhaps you’ve made some this year.
There’s another popular list that comes out every year. It’s the list of most frequently broken resolutions. Can you guess what it looks like?
DRINK LESS ALCOHOL. EAT HEALTHIER FOOD. LOSE WEIGHT AND GET FIT. QUIT SMOKING. GET OUT OF DEBT AND SAVE MONEY. TRAVEL TO NEW PLACES… You get the idea.
When you think about it, these really shouldn’t be called resolutions. They should be called promises. Because inherent in the word resolution is the word resolve. According to Webster’s, resolve is defined as: “To determine or decide in purpose; to make ready in mind; to fix; to settle.” What’s missing in most resolutions is “resolve”; a fixed and settled purpose of mind based on certain truths. And without this determination, the will is a very weak thing, because, as we all know, “the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
As Christians, we have unction, an anointing to carry out the resolutions we make. We have a Helper, the Holy Spirit, who supplies the power to carry out our firmly held convictions. If we can resolve to make changes that are in line with his Word then we can be sure he will “hasten His Word to perform it.”
Here are some resolutions that we can make this year, with the sure knowledge that God will help us.
• I RESOLVE TO PRESENT MY BODY A LIVING SACRIFICE (Rms. 12:1,2)
Rather than resolve to lose x amount of weight this year or rush for a gym membership, perhaps we can take a moment to pray and answer the question “What changes can I make that will please and glorify You?” These may or may not include changes in diet or exercise. If they do, at least they will be properly motivated changes. There will almost certainly be changes in the way we think as we strive to “renew our minds” in Him. As our motivations are surrendered to Him, He will grant us the power to “be transformed.”
• I RESOLVE TO HONOR THE LORD WITH MY FINANCES (Mal.3:10)
We all want to get out of debt and make more money this year. However, playing the lottery and spending more money than your budget allows probably isn’t the way to get there. Instead, we might ponder this: “How can I best honor the Lord with my finances?” Certainly the Scripture clearly outlines the blessing of tithing. But beyond that, we would benefit from reviewing our lifestyles and determining the motivations and spiritual ramifications of our financial decisions. We have a promise that if we “seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, all these things (material needs) shall be added unto us.”(Mt.6:33) In 1Tim. 6:17 it is not riches that God denounces, but pride and trust in those riches. For those of us who trust in the living God, He “gives us richly all things to enjoy.”
• I RESOLVE TO LOVE THE LORD MY GOD WITH ALL MY HEART, AND WITH ALL MY SOUL, AND WITH ALL MY MIND, AND WITH ALL MY STRENGHTH
No matter where you find yourself in your relationship with God this year, there is room for a closer walk with Him. Whether it’s more Bible reading, more meaningful devotional time, deeper praise and worship or more committed church membership, we all have room for improvement. In a society that clamors for our attention and days that are filled with activity from morning till night, developing a deeper relationship with our Savior will require effort. However, it’s a resolution that our Lord heartily endorses. He greatly desires that we “come unto Him, all we that labor and are heavy laden, and He will give us rest.”
These are resolutions that we can confidently pursue this year. And while we’re at it, it’s good to know that God has made some resolutions of His own. Here’s one that is especially fitting as we begin this New Year:
“It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning. Great is thy faithfulness.” (Lam.3:22,23)
Here’s to resolutions we can live with…now, and for eternity.