I recently wrote this article for the women's ministry part of our church's monthly newsletter. I wrote it to myself, honestly. But, I thought maybe others would like a different perspective on making those "New Year Resolutions," so I 'thought them outloud' on paper. I've decided to add it to my blog so that maybe it will help a few others, too. I hope you have a wonderful new year....
Last year, I made a list of New Year’s Resolutions that I was determined to follow through with. Being more frugal happened for about 3 months. We did get the house up for sale. But, finally took it back off the market in November to try again later. (It goes without saying that buying a new house hasn’t happened, either.) Exercising… never happened. I did manage to spend more quiet time with my Bible and my Lord this year, but I know I still could have, and should have, done much better.
Some people don’t make New Year Resolutions at all because they are afraid they will fail. They think, “Why bother?” I often ask, “Why wait until January 1st to make that change or tackle that challenge?” This is what I want you to think about as we start 2010.
If making a list of challenges to keep up with all year long sounds overwhelming, set one goal at a time. Start with the Lord, always. Spend more time with Him in His Word and in prayer, and with trusted Christian friends. He will help you accomplish the rest. One of my very favorite verses in the Bible is Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me.” And as the verse in the old hymn says, “Without Him, I could do nothing. Without Him, I’d surely fail.” Even if this is the only goal you set for this year, it is worthy enough.
When you are in a good habit of conversing and learning from our Savior, start the next goal. When that one is accomplished, or the habit is firm, then and only then, move on to the next goal. There is absolutely no reason to try and start 5, 6, or 10 goals all at the same time. No wonder most of us give up within the first few weeks!
One goal at a time. One day at a time. One step at a time. That is all Christ asks of us. That is all we should require of ourselves. Our Lord promised not to give us more than we can handle, so why do we? But, if we don’t try anything, we’ve already failed.
I leave you with another few verses from Philippians, written thousands of years ago, by our fellow brother in Christ, who also understood the trials and struggles we have.
“Not that I have already reached [the goal] or am already fully mature, but I make every effort to take hold of it because I also have been taken hold of by Christ Jesus.” “Brothers, I do not consider myself to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: forgetting what is behind and reaching forward to what is ahead, I pursue as my goal the prize promised by God’s heavenly call in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3: 12-14. (HCSB)
God bless you, my sisters [and brothers], and Happy New Year!!