Why Resolutions Don’t Work

As the temperature starts to rise and the flowers start to bloom, we know that spring is in the air.  Wait, spring? Oh no! Where did time go? Is it me, or does it feel like we just skipped the first quarter of the year?

As a student I’m super busy studying all while trying to maintain my relationship with God and a social life. When do I have the time to rest? To maintain healthy eating habits? To read the Bible on a regular basis? Well, honestly I don’t. I’ve tried many times but failed. As much as I want to give God His place and make Him first in my life, school takes over and I become a Sunday Christian. This is my biggest struggle and something I want to resolve fast.

The best solution I could think of was to make a resolution – it even has solution in its name! I made a list of all the bad habits that I wanted to get rid of (for example, cursing, judging, eating unhealthy foods). I also made a list of good habits I wanted (for example, being grateful to God daily, reading my Bible, not be ashamed of talking about God or my beliefs, and being a good friend). I prayed for them and put the list in my Bible.

As you can imagine like any resolution the first days (literally two days) were awesome. Then, I started slacking. After 2 weeks I did not think much about my resolution, and by week 3 I stopped caring altogether.  I would constantly feel guilt and want to start all over again.  This cycle has happened again and again since April 2015 until April 2017.

Two years is a long time. I’ve been quick to think as I reflect on that, “Wow… two years and still no change?”. But as I re-read the resolution list, I realized some things have changed. Many I did not realize it or notice because I’ve been so focused on what I’m doing instead of what God is.

It made me think that I don’t need to make a New Year’s resolution to be a totally different person in a year. I already am a different person in Jesus. I have been made new in Christ and He is continuing to transform me as I surrender to Him every single day.

And I can be sure of this because of what God’s word says in 2 Corinthians 5:17  (ESV):

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.

I can’t become new with each New Year’s resolution. I don’t have the strength to do it on my own. After two years of trying it on my own, I know that’s true. I’m learning that the good news is, I don’t have to. God offers me a new identity in Christ, and promises that His Spirit will transform me from one degree of glory to another (2 Corinthians 3:18). I’m finding freedom in that. He will complete the good work He began in me (Philippians 1:6).

All of God’s promises will be met. And the good news is that we don’t need to worry about that. Instead we need to celebrate because our God is Great and there is nothing He can’t do for His children.

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