Are you determined that January 1st will be the day you stop a bad habit, start a diet or exercise program, begin organizing your home, or get a grip on your out of control spending or schedule?
Before you take a midnight stand for change, I have a couple of questions for you….
What is motivating you?
Why are you resolved to make this change?
People will tell you that you need to be able to answer those questions if you want to keep your resolutions long-term.
I have one more important question….
Who are you trying to please?
Much has been written on this subject, and I’ve learned the most common advice is that you must make resolutions for yourself. You won’t keep a resolution you make for someone else. It’s hard though, isn’t it? Because behind so many of our goals, decisions, and resolutions lurks the thought, “what does or will _________ think?”
We want to be thin, rich, and successful. We want to look younger, dress better, have lovely organized homes, and perfectly planned schedules.
Because society tells us those things will make us more important. People will like us better and value us more. And of course if we are important, well liked, and valued . . . we will be happier.
So, let me ask you again.
Who are you trying to please?
Maybe it’s time to admit our mixed motives and reject resolutions. Well, most resolutions. There is a two-part resolution worth considering….
Jonathan Edwards once said, “Resolution One: I will live for God. Resolution Two: and If no one else does, I still will.”
Living for God accepts our role as stewards. Everything we are and have is on loan from our heavenly Father. We come into the world with nothing and we leave with nothing. Everything – our health, family, home, friends, possessions, and even our faith are gifts from God.
When we live for God with gratitude, we resolve to:
- care for our bodies to better serve Him and others.
- manage our schedules to better glorify Him and love the people around us.
- organize and care for our homes and belongings to praise Him and bless His creation.
Let’s begin 2013 differently.
Let’s keep our list of resolutions short and well focused.
Let’s stand in agreement with the words of Jonathan Edwards and live for God. Even if no one else does.
Too often resolutions are abandoned as good intentions, but living for God with gratitude is much more than intentional good. It is the result of a heart changed by His love.
And God can give you more blessings than you need, and you will always have plenty of everything. You will have enough to give to every good work. As the Scriptures say, “He gives generously to the poor; His goodness will continue forever.”
God is the one who gives seed to those who plant, and He gives bread for food. And God will give you spiritual seed and make that seed grow. He will produce a great harvest from your goodness. God will make you rich in every way so that you can always give freely. The service you are offering helps God’s people with their needs, but that is not all it does. It is also bringing more and more thanks to God. 2 Corinthians 8:11
Father, help us by the power of Your Holy Spirit to make one resolution this year . . . to live for You with gratitude. Amen.