January 1st Holds No Magic Qualities
Let me start out by saying this: resolutions are great. If you make a conscious choice to improve something in your life, you are absolutely on the right track. Go you! But I have a bone to pick with this whole "New Years Resolution" thing.
Every year, people make these grandiose declarations, saying, "This year is going to be different! I'm going to change everything!"
Then they don't.
I've been thinking about why this is. Why do people fail with their resolutions? Is it because people set goals that are way too big? Or perhaps they run into unforeseen issues that completely derail them, they have to take care of other business, rearranging their priorities? Is it because most people just don't have the work ethic to accomplish what they set out to do?
Is it all or one of these things? My theory: no.
So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. - 1 Corinthians 10:31
"I'm going to change everything this year, and make myself happier than ever before!" This mentality that says that we can do it all on our own and for ourselves is rotting our resolutions. You cannot accomplish anything all on your own. I know that there are people out there who scream at the top of their lungs that hard work and perseverance is all you need to succeed. The fact of the matter, though, is that this is simply not true.
Am I saying that hard work is not important? Of course not! You need hard work. You need perseverance. You will accomplish nothing if you're sitting on the couch and dreaming about how easy things would be if you gave up. But let me ask you something: when you're there, and the excitement of the "NEW YEAR, NEW ME!" chants have long since passed, how do you get yourself off the couch? How do you keep going? That perseverance does not come from nowhere. It comes from a loving Father who gives you the strength to carry on through the hardships so that you can be an example of what God can do with the most broken spirit!
Consider Moses. What if he had woken up one day and said, "You know what? It's the first of the year. This year, I'm going to set the Israelites free of Egypt and finally deal with this guilt I have over leaving them there. I'm gonna be so happy when we're all free together!" What if he then jumped on a camel and rode towards Pharaoh's palace, smiling about how he was going to fix everything?
I'll tell you what would have happened. He would have gotten half-way there, looked up at the desert sun, and said, "You know what, it's too hot. I can't present myself to Pharaoh all sweaty. Besides, it's not like anyone would know but me!" Then he would have turned around and gone home to watch sheep while he ate... I don't know, whatever the old Hebrew equivalent of Cheetos was.
Or he would have gotten to the palace, Pharaoh would have laughed in his face, and he would have turned around and slumped away in defeat while he moped about how this year just wasn't his year.
(Or they would have killed him on the spot... You know. Ancient Egypt and all.)
Instead, Moses went with the intention of fulfilling a command from God. He went into Egypt to do his task as unto the Lord, and was assisted by the Father in more ways than you can shake a staff at.
There's two points I want to make here: One, Moses's resolution came from having a commandment from the Lord to do something. There are plenty of commandments about eating properly, taking care of yourself, managing your finances, etc. in the Bible for us to look at. So no matter what area your New Years Resolution is in, there is an applicable verse and/or commandment, I promise. Let that be the source of your resolve.
Two, Moses did his task "as unto the Lord". It is so important to remember that your goals, your desires, your successes; they go so much further than what you have in mind for them. While these things are meant to benefit you, you must remember that they are not solely or primarily for you. If you strive to better yourself for yourself, you will loose steam quickly because you cannot be your own motivation. If you are truly striving to glorify God, however, you will be supplied with all the energy, willpower, and blessing to go further than you ever thought possible.
I know I have a tendency to ramble sometimes, so let me try to summarize my point. Do not make a resolution because of January 1st. It is a day like any other, and it will help you in no way, shape or form. Do make a resolution because God is directing you towards a better life that shows his attributes and character to the world, and he is faithful to carry out the works that He starts in you.
Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to your name give glory, for the sake of your steadfast love and your faithfulness! - Psalm 115:1