New Year's Resolutions. Do you make them or avoid them? Do you break them or keep them? Several years ago I resolved to take better care of my body. I planned to floss my teeth every day, do my sit-ups and back exercises regularly, not eat as compulsively, eat better food and lose weight... By May of that year I was flossing my teeth, at least once a week. I did sit-ups at least three times – total! I only ate compulsively once or twice a day and gained close to 10 pounds. Now my only New Year’s Resolution is not to make any resolutions!
Why do we fail at New Year’s Resolutions? Is it because we are too busy? Are we unrealistic in setting our goals too high? Do we just need to be more disciplined and try harder? All of those may be factors but the real problem is that we are human. We are finite creatures who are controlled by sin. As Paul says, “I do not do what I want, but do the very thing I hate... In fact it is no longer I that do it, but sin that dwells within me." (Romans 7:15-17) Most of us want to do good, and keep our resolutions, but apart from Christ we are incapable.
The good news is that our failures are not the final word! We are given a second chance. And a third, and a fourth. We are forgiven whenever we fall short of our goals or God's desires. Each New Year, each new day, each moment we are given new opportunities to start over. The one who came to us during the Christmas season is also the one who sits on the throne of heaven and says, "Behold, I make all things new." (Revelation 21:5) That includes you and that includes me. Every day God makes us into new creatures.
Our New Year's resolutions may or may not work, but thanks be to God that He resolved to love us so much that we get a second chance, every time we don't live up to our hopes or God's desires.