New Year’s resolutions used to be a time when people reflected on their previous year and looked forward to a new beginning- new goals, new challenges, and a fresh perspective on life. Now, it seems New Year’s, with it’s common resolutions, has become a bit of a joke to most- those who find humor in everyone’s inspiration to be fit, eat healthy, and join several gyms, but inevitably (3 weeks later) just fall back into their old habits of using the elevator at work and making Taco Bell runs at 11 o’clock at night.
Because of this rapid increase and equally rapid decline in gym memberships in the span of a single month and failed resolution examples alike, people have become pretty pessimistic to making strides towards new goals and instead, have adopted the philosophy that we are creatures set in our ways. So why even bother, right? But today, I would like to challenge you to first, have an open mind, and second, explore with me the definition of resolution we often forget or perhaps, are completely unaware of.
What is one common theme in every New Year’s resolution? I have discovered that in most cases, the goals we create tend to circle around our problems. Take a close look at your list. Problem: Gained 10 pounds over the holiday. Resolution: Try a crazy fad diet until going insane. Problem: No money in savings. Resolution: Practice discipline and cut back on Starbucks . The other theme I notice is that most resolutions are self-focused. They are specifically geared to make us more successful, more attractive, and create a better quality of life that ensures our happiness.
I will openly admit that I believe resolutions are a wise concept that Jesse and I practice every year. We sit down and discuss our goals for family, finances, health, and spiritual growth. But this year, as we sat and pondered what specific aspirations do we see for ourselves- what do we want to achieve? This prompted me to look at the definition of resolution and I found the result to be extremely insightful.
You see, most of us take the first definition provided for resolution: a firm decision to do or not to do something. But as I continued reading, I was drawn to a later definition: the passing of discord into a concord during the course of changing harmony. Are you catching my drift? Stay with me! Here me out…
I was quickly reminded in that moment, that the most important resolution I need or will ever need is Christ. He is the real answer to my problems. Because I am human, I contain the same problem that co-exists between everyone: Sin. Sin is the greatest problem with the only resolution: Jesus. It’s not a bad idea to save more money or lose those unwanted 10 pounds, but if I don’t have Christ at the center of my life, I have lost sight of the most important resolution.
One of my favorite verses, found in Colossians, reminds us where to place our focus: “Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things (Colossians 3:1 &2). The problem is we are far too focused on outward goals and appearances, but neglect the inner condition of our hearts.
Now, if you don’t know Jesus as your Lord and Savior, I invite you to ask Him into your heart. This resolution is the best decision you’ll ever make, since we now know that a resolution is a firm decision to do or not to do something. And once you make this all important choice, there will be a passing of discord ( your sin) into a concord (your salvation) during the course of changing harmony (a new found, budding relationship with our Savior).
Look to His Word for your answers and you will find a filled void that no earthly solution can fill. Abandon yourself and cling to the Redeemer. The more you cling to Him, you will notice your desires matching His. You will discover an awakening joy that measures far above the happiness of fitting into your “skinny jeans” again. Your problems may not completely dissipate, but the answer will be walking right beside you through it all- offering peace, comfort and wisdom.
Perhaps you’ve already made the firm choice to follow Christ. I continue, then, to encourage you to “set your hearts on things above” and ask God to lead you or your family in this next year by focusing on the one who is seated at the right hand of God. Pray and ask Him to specify His will and plans for your life. Don’t just make Him first, put Him at the center.
Resolutions are not a bad thing or even something to joke about. In this case, this all important resolution determines your eternal destination. And that, friends, is no laughing matter! Now that we have clearly identified the problem, let us focus our hearts on the answer! And unlike other failed attempts at resolutions, I can promise this resolution is without fail.
Happy New Year!
The Humble Homemaker