New Year’s Resolutions

I was surfing through some of my internet sites this past week, and came across the following article.  I thought you might enjoy parts of it, so allow me to share portions of that article with you as we embark on yet another new year.

“I never make New Year’s resolutions anymore,” the man told me, “I never keep them anyway.”  I can remember all too many resolutions I’ve made and let slip away.  But I believe New Year’s resolutions are worth making.  And let me tell you why.

First, we all need changes.  No one has the perfect life.  There is always room for improvement.  No matter if it is your physical health, your spiritual life, habits or addictions, we all have room for change.

Second, when we change calendars is a good time for reassessment.  How did last year go?  What do I want to do differently this year?  This time of year always reminds me of a passage of scripture, best understood by farmers.  Jeremiah 4:3, “Break up your unplowed ground, and do not sow among thorns.”  It makes sense.  The more land you put into production, the more prosperous you’ll be.  But some of us are stupid enough to try to sow seeds in land overrun by thorns without breaking up the soil and taking care to root out the thorns as they come up.  Call it laziness.  Call it stupidity.  But as we flip the calendar to a new year, it is a good time for reassessment to take place.

Third, New Year’s is an excellent time for mid-course corrections.  Sure, we might fail in what we set out to do, but if we fail to plan, the old saying goes, “then we plan to fail.”  If you’re so fearful of failure that you never set up your row of tin cans to shoot at, you’re not very likely to hit any at all.  Failure is not the end.  For the person who determines to learn from it, failure is a friend.  Just look at the apostle Paul.  Talk about failure!  Throughout his life he was opposed, persecuted, shipwrecked, stoned and left for dead, deserted by trusted coworkers, slandered, and scorned.

But during one of his stints in prison, we can see from one of his letters an unwillingness to quit.  In Philippians 3:13-14 Paul writes, “Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me Heavenward in Christ Jesus.”  No wonder he made a mark on his world.  He stopped looking back, and looked forward instead.  He didn’t let the fear of failure keep him from trying again.

And finally, New Year’s is a time to learn to rely more heavily on the grace of God.  Now I’ve met a few self made men and women and so have you.  Usually they are proud and driven people.  But there’s another way, and that is beginning to trust in God’s help.  One more secret from the apostle Paul, Philippians 4:13, “I can do everything through Him who gives me strength.”  And God’s strength saw him through a lot, through pain, through joy, and through accomplishment.  And it can do the same for you if you will just trust God in this new year!

In Christ,

Josh

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