It’s the time of year when we reflect on the future. The New Year, fraught with possibilities, is about to begin. Our natural inclination is to make a set of New Year’s resolutions.
Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary defines “resolution” as “the act of finding an answer or solution to a conflict, problem – as in the act of resolving something… I resolve to change something….” So we rush to make lists of things we think will solve our problems or resolve some issue we face. But resolutions are not the answer.
Half of all Americans make New Year’s resolutions. According to St. Luke’s Health System in Sioux City, Iowa, the three most popular are: to lose weight, to stop smoking and to manage money better. Other common resolutions: to improve ourselves, to stop gambling, and to spend more time with the family. Studies show that after one week, four out of five people are still sticking by their resolve. Six months later, only two out of five are still on track; and two years later, only one person in five is keeping his resolutions.
As Christ-followers we have a source of change within us – and I don’t mean will-power – I mean the Holy Spirit. God Himself in every believer. And He has given every Christian something way better than a resolution. He has given us a New Covenant.
And in the same way He took the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in My blood. Luke 22:20
Such confidence we have through Christ toward God. Not that we are adequate in ourselves to consider anything as coming from ourselves, but our adequacy is from God, who also made us adequate as servants of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. 2 Corinthians 3:4–6
Again, good ole Merriam-Webster defines “covenant” as “a usually formal, solemn, and binding agreement or compact.” We don’t need resolutions; we already have a Covenant with the power of the universe, Almighty God Himself.
As the above verses point out, our confidence going into the next year and every year is not found in our own resolutions being adequate for the task. Our confidence is in God who gives us the power to overcome anything. This “New Covenant” is especially good to consider as part of our “New Year” celebration.
As we look into the unknown of 2015, the one thing we can be absolutely sure of is that God Himself will renew His covenant with each of us every single day of the coming year.
This I recall to my mind, Therefore I have hope. The Lord’s lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, For His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness. “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “Therefore I have hope in Him.” Lamentations 3:21–24
So, let’s think about New Year’s resolutions for a minute. I did a search on the internet and found this comment about making resolutions:
“It’s hard not to get the resolution urge on New Year’s Eve. There’s that sense of renewal, of rebirth, and the guilty awareness that you ate your own weight in chocolate during the holidays. Sure, last year’s resolutions didn’t make it past the fifth of January, but hey, this year’s going to be different, right? The main reason some people think about New Year’s Resolutions is because they want to change things in their life.”
Can you see how our faith in a “New Covenant” set up through the blood of our Savior, Jesus Christ, has given us renewal and rebirth? We don’t need resolutions for that. He has also taken away the guilt for those sins… even the sin of overeating chocolate. We absolutely, positively do not need to make resolutions. All we need do is surrender to the Lord’s will for our lives and go through the year walking as Christians “in a manner worthy of Christ.”
so that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience; joyously giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in Light. Colossians 1:10–12
Are you ready? Let’s start walking through 2015 in a manner Christ would be proud of.
Think about it…