As I write this, it’s the fifth day of 2015.
So be honest…how many of those New Year’s resolutions made with such good intentions are already broken?
Maybe you resolved to stick to that diet so you can slim down and shape up.
And you’ve already fudged.
Perhaps you resolved to not lose your temper.
And that lasted about 45 minutes.
Maybe you decided to stop that bad habit that has been plaguing you for so long.
And it has already reared its ugly head again.
Don’t worry; you’re in good company.
Because here’s the thing about resolutions…
that thing that we conveniently forget when it’s New Year’s Eve and the year ahead beckons bright and shiny with promise and hope and possibility:
Mustering up willpower is almost always a short-term deal.
Because when I undertake life changes on my terms, for my reasons, propelled by my will, and powered by my strength…
well, my resolutions will only be as strong as I am. And though I have some strong days and hours and moments, I also have some weak ones.
A lot of weak ones, actually.
And what happens then?
By God’s grace, I’m learning a few things about true heart change which results in true life change. And it really boils down to just four things.
How to Avoid Broken Resolutions
1.)Check your motives. The simple concept of stewardship has revolutionized my perspective on life. I’m not my own; I was bought with a price. Everything I have and everything I am is a sacred trust granted for a season and for a purpose. And when I really understand this…when it sinks deep into my soul and seeps into every crevice of my heart…well, it changes everything. Because rather than being tossed to and fro at the whimsy of my emotions or my willpower, I have a purpose that is solid and unwavering: obeying my Master and becoming more like Him.
2.)Access God’s help. He always equips us to do what He calls us to do. The book of James tells us that we don’t have because we don’t ask. It’s as simple as that. Ask Him for help, and He will grant it. No, He doesn’t zap us with a lightning bolt, thereby instantaneously infusing us with self-control or patience or love or discipline. But He will soften our hearts and mold them into ones that are more like His, day-by-day and moment-by-moment.
3.)Seek God’s wisdom. God’s Word has so much to say about life. So much more than we give it credit for. Search the Scriptures for what God has to say about those issues you’re facing. You won’t be disappointed! Need some help in your search? I’d love to point you in the right direction, if you like; simply email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
4.)Start over. This is critically important. Because we all stumble and fall in our resolve at some point. Our sin nature makes an appearance far more often that we’d like to admit, overwhelming our best intentions. But guess what? Falling doesn’t have to be failing. Proverbs 24:16 tells us that a righteous person falls seven times and rises again. So when you fall, take heart! Get back up! Accept the divine invitation to rise again.