I am not trying to be the bearer of bad news, only the bearer of the truth. The truth is, New Year’s resolutions do not work. They don’t work because often we don’t work them. We like the idea of saying we’re going to do something, because it sounds good. But when it comes to actually putting the work in and getting it done–that’s a different story altogether.
We are the ones who have to get clear about what we want our lives to look like, and then begin putting those words into action in order to make it happen–and do the work. One of my own resolutions is to make sure I am spending time daily reading the Bible and meditating on Scripture. That is a good resolution to have. For some, that may seem so simple. But the reality is, life is so busy, it is quite easy to let days go by without opening the Bible. Even though it’s a good resolution to have, nothing will change if I just grab the remote and sit in front of the television.
We have to work our resolutions in order for them to work for us. It takes discipline, and most of all–intention. I have to be intentional about spending more time in God’s Word in order to find myself doing it. I have to do the work. That means picking up the Bible, reading and meditating on it, then applying it to my life on a regular basis.
Funny, I don’t hear too many people use “spending more time reading the Bible” as a New Year’s Resolution. The resolution most heard at this time of the year is the resolve to lose weight. This fine to say and may even be necessary to do. But unless better eating habits are established, and an exercise regimen is put into practice, no change will take place.
I’ve heard others say they would like to enjoy life a little bit more. What does that look like? Perhaps it means to spend quality time with family, travel, learn a new skill for fun. Again, it will take being intentional. Saying and doing are two totally different things. It takes no effort on our part to “say” what we’d like to do to improve our lives. It’s the “doing” that is the work part of it.
Perhaps that is why it is so difficult. The work is spiritual. It means denying ourselves the things we want. It’s hard to intentionally spend time in the Word when I would rather watch my favorite TV show. But if I want my life to be spirit-filled and not just about going through the motions, that is exactly what I will have to do–intentionally.
I’m not hear to say it’s easy because it isn’t. But with the Lord’s help we can succeed in any resolution we want to maintain. The Word comes to remind us: “I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Phil. 4:13 NKJV)
Nothing is left out of ALL. So whatever we resolve to do in His will, He will help us do. He will not do the work for us, that part is up to you and me alone. But God is there to help us once we make up our minds to put one foot in front of the other and begin the process. And then He’ll be there each day to help us do it again and again.
New Year’s resolutions simply won’t work unless we do the work. So work that resolution, and watch what happens.
What do you resolve to do in 2016? What would you like to see the Lord do through you?