Friday, December 26, 2014

When the Resolutions Fail

image from
It’s nearing the end of 2014. You might be looking back now and thinking, “I didn’t accomplish almost anything I planned to do.” That can lead to disappointment and despair, and a resolve to try harder this upcoming year.

You might be reprimanding yourself, all the while pondering how you will do better in 2015. It is good to plan ahead and to set goals. In that sense, New Year’s Resolutions can be helpful. But the problem is, we tend to set goals, and neglect to follow through with them. Sometimes that’s because our goals are too broad.

For instance, consider these typical New Years goals.

Read the Bible.
That’s a nice goal. It’s an admirable goal. But just putting that on your list of New Year’s resolutions won’t guarantee that you’ll accomplish it. Instead, think of what would help you to be faithful in that area. Do you need to do an in-depth Bible study of a particular book? Pick a Bible reading plan? List out how you will discipline yourself for godliness in this area.

Pray more.
Another way to set yourself up for failure. How do you know if you’ve accomplished this goal? How can you keep from making it a quick run-through the prayer list?

Life is bigger than New Year’s resolutions. If you look back at this year disappointed because you didn’t accomplish what you had planned, ask yourself two things:

1. Did I set myself up for failure by creating unrealistic or vague goals?
2. Have I plateaued in my relationship with God? Did I drift in seeking Him?

After you’ve considered those things, look to the cross. Your hope is not found in what you did or did not do this year. You will never perform enough to make yourself right with God. Even as believers, God's acceptance of us is not based on how perfectly we live, it's based on the finished work of Christ. When we sin, when we fail, instead of scolding ourselves, we need to remind ourselves of who we are in Christ. He has performed perfectly and cloaked us in His righteousness.We can run to His mercy and forgiveness and lean upon Him for grace to accomplish what we need to do.

If this year holds regrets for you, don't live in light of those. Live in light of who you are in Christ, and by His power, seek to be more faithful in 2015.



Vicki said...

Thank you so much for this post, Allison - I was feeling discouraged about some sin the Lord recently uncovered in my life, but your post encouraged me to come back to Him and trust Him to help me get things right for the new year. Thank you for your uplifting words!

Happy New Year!

Love in Christ,

Allison said...

Hi Vicki,
I'm glad that God used this to encourage you. It's easy to get discouraged when we see more and more areas in our life that need change. God's been deepening my awareness of my sin this year too. But I'm thankful for His grace and mercy and the power He gives me to fight against my sin. Isn't it wonderful that He stays faithful even if we are not?

Thanks for commenting!