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Monday, December 30, 2013

5 Reasons Why I Don't Make New Year's Resolutions

(First posted on 1/1/12)

Every year as talk New Year's resolutions appear at the end of December, I think this very same thing:  I don't like resolutions!  That may seem strange for many people, and I totally understand that it might.  But, just for a moment, let me explain myself.

I woke up this morning (New Year's Day) and began to get ready for Bible class and worship, just like I always do on Sunday morning.  This thought came to me and I posted it as my status on Facebook:

Happy New Year! I resolve to not make any resolutions in this new year, but to continue to strive daily to live a more excellent life spiritually, physically, 
emotionally, and mentally....all to His glory and not my own.

So....back to my 5 reasons:

#1:  It's not all about me!
The word resolution means, "A firm decision to do or not to do something."  Making a resolution implies that I am going to do something or not do something all on my own.  There is no way that I can do anything at all totally on my own.  

#2  I need a higher power!
Resolutions have more to do with what I "think" I should do or what I "believe" to be "right" instead of what I really desire and need to do.  God knows what we need and He may feel like you need to change in different ways that what you and I might think.  I can try to do something or not do something and might succeed for a while, but ultimately, I need a higher power.  I need God's help in everything. When I turn that resolution to not what "I" can do or what "I" will not do, but rather turn my commitment to live a more excellent life (continually) for God, then HE will be making changes in me because of my submission to His will and not because of me and my will.  

#3  Statistics say I will fail!
To me, resolutions only set people up for failure.  That seems harsh, but I believe it to be true.  Statistics say that most people do not keep their resolutions.  In fact 88% of people who make them do fail, so when I hear that, I'm already questioning if I can keep it at all, so I'm already thinking negatively about my new resolution.  

And here's an example: Perhaps you resolved to give up sweets at midnight.  You do good at breakfast New Year's Day, but then at lunch you attend a family dinner, and one of your family members made your favorite pie/cake/dessert.  You give in and have a bite....or two.....or maybe a whole piece.  Now how do you feel???  Defeated!  You failed!  You BROKE your resolution!  When resolutions are broken there is a sense of failure and defect that isn't easy to overcome.  When you strive for excellence more every day, you will see victories in little things.  Maybe you did eat some dessert.  But maybe before you would have eaten two pieces and this time you only ate one.  And maybe tomorrow you'll cut that down.  Maybe (hopefully) you pray before heading to that family meal that God will strengthen you and your desire to eat too much.  Now, do you see how the "ME" is changed to "HIM"???  See how it's not your will on your own, but through what God can do in your life?

#4  Every day is a new day!
Let's just face the facts:  you and I are going to goof up....we're going to fall......we're going to fail.  But guess what?  There is GREAT news!  If you are a child of God, He will forgive you when you ask Him to do so!  Isn't that wonderful??!!  It really is!  The problem is that some time we have a hard time forgiving ourselves.  We have a hard time forgetting.  We want to punish ourselves because we believe we deserve it, but Jesus' sacrifice continues to purify us.  We can wake up every day and say, "Today's a new day!  Today I will strive to live a more excellent life!"

#5 Excellence is worth striving for!
I wrote the definition of a resolution, but here is the definition of excellence: The quality of being outstanding or extremely good. An outstanding feature or quality. Do you notice the difference?  The resolution definition is just a firm decision.  Your decision might hold, but it might not.  Striving for excellence in all areas of life (spiritually, physically, emotionally, and mentally) is a life-changing experience.  It's not here one day, gone the next.  It's not going to change with every new year like a decision might.  Being committed to excellence is a continual growth and a continual reliance on God and what He can do through you and through the blood of Jesus.  It's all about His will and not ours.  It's all about Him being glorified and not at all about me.

Come on! Join me!  Be COMMITTED TO EXCELLENCE in 2012!

Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. 
Philippians 3:13-14

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! 
2 Corinthians 5:17

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