It’s always surreal to look back at the previous year. 365 days have passed and now we look forward to a new year, a chance to become a new and improved version of ourselves.
This is the day that most people start their New Year’s Resolutions. This is (supposedly) because as we look back on the past year, we see that we wish we had done something different. We (supposedly) make resolutions as an attempt to become a better version of ourselves.
And, as most of you know we rarely follow through with our resolutions. This idea of a better, more satisfied version of ourselves fails to come to fruition.
If you look online you’ll get tips on how to stay strong in your resolutions or you’ll see someone try to explain why we fail to keep our resolutions.
I don’t want to do that. I want to explore something else.
I want to explore this: Why do we really make resolutions? And then, we’ll see that you made the wrong resolution.
The Actual Reason We Make Resolutions
We make resolutions because we know that we need to change. We see that something is not as it should be, so we set resolutions to attempt to change that.
We know intuitively the we are flawed. It could be our body does not work as it should, we are physically unable to perform certain tasks, we have negative/damaging habits, or we have had flawed relationships. We are not as we should be, our lives are not the way they should be, and our world is also not the way it should be.
The Bible tells us that same thing.
The Bible says that we are flawed and not the way we should be (Romans 3:23, Jeremiah 17:9, Ecclesiastes 9:3). And, we read the entire world is flawed (Genesis 3:17, Romans 8:20-22). So, the reason we make resolutions is confirmed in the Bible. We intuitively know that the flaws we feel inside of us and see outside of us is confirmed by what the Bible said thousands of years ago.
What We Really To Change
You agree with the Bible. We need to change. But, you may not agree with what God says needs to change.
We make resolutions believing what needs to change is external from us. What I mean is that we want to believe is that what needs to change is our bodies, abilities, habits, or our relationships with others. While those are all important aspects our lives, God says (in the Bible) that what really needs to change is internal.
Our hearts need change.
Our hearts are deceitful, making us want things that won’t ultimately satisfy us. Our hearts naturally produce evil, not good and godly lives. We don’t want that to change. We, in our very nature, want and seek after damaging things.
God, being our Creator, has the authority and ability to change our nature. He says he will forgive us, give new hearts, and give us the desire and ability to change ourselves and our lives (Ezekiel 36:25-28).
But, how did God successfully give us a new heart that desires to live rightly?
[And every church kid loudly says] Jesus.
In the book of Colossians, Paul describes what exactly Jesus did for us:
Once you were alienated and hostile in your minds expressed in your evil actions. But now he has reconciled you by his physical body through his death, to present you holy, faultless, and blameless before him — Colossians 1:21-22
Jesus died to forgive and give new hearts to those who have faith in Him alone.
In light of this, let’s visit what your resolution should be.
Let’s Make a New Resolution
For those who have placed their faith in Jesus: Remember that your behaviors, your habits, and your good deeds don’t make you right before God. You are right before God through faith alone in Jesus and his perfect life, death on the cross, and resurrection from the grave. You added nothing to your salvation, and you still add nothing to your faith.
Your resolution: Continue in the Faith and seek to cheerfully obey God’s word in all areas of life and godliness.
For those who have not placed their faith in Jesus: You know you need to change. You wouldn’t make a resolution if you didn’t. The change you need is not a new goal or a new life; the change you primarily need is your heart. Your relationship with God is the most important thing in your life. So, be resolved to reconcile to God.
Your resolution: Repent of your sins against God, ask for his unending and unwavering grace and mercy, and trust in the Son God, Jesus Christ. Be resolved to begin 2020 by changing, not your behavior but your Savior.
If you made a resolution to change this new year, let it be centered on God. Let your resolve be focused on reconciling to your Creator and Savior.
Its a new year. But its the same God.