In the past I have been rubbish at them. But, at the end of 2011, I made a commitment to give up Coca Cola and to only drink Coke Zero, so that by 2013 I could give up soft drink all together. If you know me, you know that Coke and I have been friends for a long time and this has not been an easy decision. I made the resolution and I (hopefully) intend to stick at it.
What new year's resolutions have you made before?The ones my friends usually come up with include; spending more time with family, getting fit, learning something new (like a skill or a hobby), helping others more or simply “getting better organised”.
The problem with new year's resolutions though, is that we either make them so easy that we may as well have not made them in the first place … or they are too hard to keep, so we get frustrated, forget about them and never succeed.
We know this though don’t we ... changing habits is hard and keeping our word is hard.
The problem with resolutionsThe problem is not that we make new year's resolutions – it’s actually good to want to spend more time with family, get fit (my resolution for the 2013) and be more organised.
The problem is that we are broken human beings, who because of sin find it hard to keep our word, to follow through, and to make, as Jesus says, our “Yes” into a “Yes” (check out Matthew 5:33-37 for more).
The answer to our problem of broken promises and unkept resolutions is NOT to try harder. This will only lead to more broken promises and failure. BUT instead to look to our great promise keeping God who always keeps his word.
Throughout the Bible, God makes promises to his people and he always, without fail, keeps his promises.
In Genesis 12, God makes a promise to Abraham that he would give him a new land, many children and that he and his family would be a blessing to all the world. These promises were fullfilled in Jesus.
Later, God made promises to David (in 2 Samuel 7) that he would always have a son who would rule God’s people. This promise ultimately found its answer in Jesus.
God’s biggest promise to his people was a promised saviour. A saviour king who would come and deal with his peoples problems once and for all. A king who would be pierced for our transgressions, crushed for our iniquities (our sins), who would bring peace, and by his wounds healing (Isaiah 53:5).
Yup, that’s right, this promise was also fulfilled in Jesus.
God always keeps his promises.
The solution to new year's resolutionsSo what if we made some new years resolutions in line with God’s plans and his promises to us in Jesus?
What if we took God’s agenda for our lives and made it ours as well?
Here are two things that God wants to change in you this year that I think are pretty important:
1. He wants to transform you to be more like Jesus (2 Cor. 3:18). God’s agenda is to break our sinful habits and to make us more like his son Jesus. To renew us in the knowledge of the creator (Colossians 3:10), to be holy and compassionate people.
2. He wants us to serve one another in love (Galatians 5:1). In Jesus we have been set free to serve God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength.
What if we resolved to “keep in step with the Spirit”, and partner with God to see this happen more and more in our lives together. What if we made our new year's resolution to be God’s resolution for us in Jesus?
Do you want to get fit? Do it.
Do you want to learn how to surf? Do it.
Do you want to volunteer for a good cause? Do it.
But God has a BIGGER agenda this year. His agenda is to transform your life. He promises, through the Spirit, to do it. What could be a better thing to look forward to in 2013?