A few years ago, I stopped making New Year’s resolutions as such. I decided that each year, I would devote a new way to serving or honoring our Lord. That is, I would add something to my life that would lead to my spiritual growth. Last year, for example, I began this post. This year I am going to go a step forward and begin a website dedicated to sharing my love for Christ with others and offering encouragement to fellow believers. It will hopefully happen sometime this month, but only He knows when my heart will be right to take this step.
In thinking about the resolutions so many of us make and so few of us keep, I couldn’t help but think of the desire we have to start afresh each year with a new or improved image of ourselves. As the New Year approaches, we begin thinking of ways to improve ourselves. Most are related to diet and/or exercise. We seem to think that only January 1st offers that magical moment to fix our lives. Some may eat like crazy, for example, right up to the stroke of midnight and then go on a starvation diet for a few days to make up for the additional calories consumed over the holidays. It’s like a roller coaster ride. Eat too much going up, get serious about diet and head down, dieting again only to go back up again. Sound familiar? This applies to most resolutions. Those who give up mobile devices or TV usually find themselves going back to their old schedules of attachment to their entertainment center of choice. That’s where I was a few years ago until the Lord lead me to take on a new challenge of service to Him each year. It has worked much better for me and I am so thankful to Him for His guidance.
I also related the erroneous thought that it is best to begin resolutions on January 1st to the wonderful gift we have been given regarding forgiveness. When we accept Christ as our Savior, we are blessed with beginning each new day with a clean slate. God wipes our slate of offenses clean whenever we sincerely ask for forgiveness. We don’t have to wait for a new year. All we have to do is pray with a contrite heart and ask the Lord to guide us in the future to be more aware of our shortcomings and lead us in the path of righteousness. That means leaning on the tools He has given us: the Holy Spirit, His Word, and prayer. We can become new again permanently by focusing on the Lord daily without ceasing and not just on New Year’s Day. Hallelujah!