New Year’s Resolutions?

Okay, how many of you have made new year’s resolutions in the past? Raise your hands.

Thanks, you can lower your hands.

Now,  how many of you have broken those resolutions before the end of January? Hands up again.

Uh-huh. I thought so. You can put your hands back down. Those of you uber-disciplined types who didn’t raise your hands might want to go out for your five mile run. Come back tomorrow.

For the rest of us who struggle with keeping long-term resolutions, I have some words of hope. Here’s what Jesus said:

“That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?

“And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing,  yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?

“So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’  These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs.  Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.

“So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.”                       –Matthew 6:25-34 (New Living Translation)

You may argue that these verses have nothing to do with new year’s resolutions. That’s true. But if you think about it, there’s something presumptive about such self-promises. No, there’s nothing wrong with planning ahead or setting goals, but I think Jesus was trying to tell us that we need to focus on today, to live each day to its fullest for Him.

Maybe instead of making resolutions for the coming year, we should begin each day resolving to follow closely after Jesus today, to live in obedience today, to make wise choices today, to pray and read scripture today.

After a while, all of those days will accumulate and before you know it, you may have attained that new year’s resolution after all!

Have a happy and Christ-centered new year!

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