Since the earth is in the same position than it was last year relative to the sun, we should get moving on things that we should be doing anyways, like exercise, get out of debt, or win the lottery.
For Christians we of course can also think about resolutions we can make about our spiritual life like reading the Bible, or being committed to prayer, or finding your callings, or finding places of ministry. This begs the question – why weren’t we doing these things before?
The reason we come up with resolutions is because we weren’t motivated enough to do those things in the first place. And it being a new calendar year isn’t this great magical reason to get started.
So what would be the right reason to get started?
If you weren’t doing devotions in the first place, why would you start now just because the calendar flipped? What new year’s resolutions show us is what motivates us. And what motivates us? Love.
Do you love double cheeseburgers more or your weight. Do you love having a nicer car more or being in debt. Do you love American Idol more or your dignity? What do you love?
Your new year’s resolutions will give you a hint to that. When we look at our resolutions, we really are saying that we want to fix the priorities of what we love.
And for Christians, what we really want to do is make sure that we love… what God loves.
God loves when we honor him by being good stewards of his money. God loves when we honor Him by taking care of the bodies he’s given us. God loves when we display more of the fruit of the spirit by trying to have more self control when we try to quit smoking, spend less time on the internet, or eat healthier.
We should resolve to change out of our love for God, not because it’s a new calendar year.
Maybe that’s why we fail so often at our resolutions… because we don’t see them as accountable to anyone other than ourselves. If our motivation for resolution is our love for God, then we’ve coupled our resolution with accountability to God. If we fail, it’s not just ourselves that we disappoint, but God as well.
So what do we do?
Whatever new year’s resolutions you come up with this year, make sure you tie it into your love for God because doing something like exercising more or less is useless unless your resolution is something that you think God loves AND you’re doing it out of love for God. And hopefully God loves pork rinds because that’s what’s most of my new year’s resolutions involve.
Mark 12:28-30 And one of the scribes came up and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, asked him, “Which commandment is the most important of all?” Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ Matt 6:33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
Take time to Pray: Pray for a desire to love what God loves so it can help you with your resolutions. Today’s Fruit of the Spirit to work on: Love.