Thursday, February 11, 2010

God and New Year's Resolutions

God and New Year's Resolutions
Dec 28, 2009
2 Corinthians 5:17 "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation, the old has gone, the new has come."

The end of the calendar year draws near and people begin making New Year's Resolutions, declarations of what they want to change about their lives. People begin thinking about these impending changes weeks before the time comes, planning and strategizing about what they might do differently when the clock strikes twelve. They give themselves motivational pep talks, writing things down, as if self-coaching and a piece of paper will grant them more success. Then the clock strikes twelve, signaling the start of the New Year, and they swing full into motion, doing or not doing whatever it is they think will change themselves or their lives. You've done this many times, and I have fallen prey to the wistful New Year's change. I don't know the statistics, but I've heard that most New Year's Resolutions are abandoned within the first 30-60 days of attempts and almost all of them are eventually tucked away under the title "silent failures" until the next year rolls around and they attempt again.

While I don't have the solution to helping you keep your New Year's Resolution, I do know how God views it. There is a parallel to New Year's Resolutions and your success in your daily Christian walk. There is something that both of them have in common, a stop and a start. Let me explain before you're thinking there is a stop to your Christian walk. God was very deliberate to set up an end and a beginning in your life. When you are saved, you are a new creation, the old is washed away, and your life is forever changed. God also intended for you to forgive and forget your past, because that is exactly what He did for you. God forgave you of your sins and then He forgot them. That's right; God does not keep a record of your past wrongs. That is the ending point in your life and the beginning of something n ew, the start of a fresh life. Every day of your Christian walk is a new day, a chance to put yesterday behind you and move forward, hoping and believing that the new day will be different. God knows you will fail today and He WILL forgive you AND give you an opportunity for a new tomorrow. The problem is you don't see it that way.

For some reason, Christians think they are only allotted a certain number of failures in life before God gives up on them. Not so. God will give you a new start everyday of your life, if you require it. He will give you the opportunity to have a new day, today, tomorrow, and even the next day. But, and here's the key, you have to forgive and forget your past. God does and so must you. Here is why you might struggle so much in your Christian walk, and this is why you might fail at your New Year's Resolutions: you didn't forgive yourself and you didn't forget your past. To be successful at something new, you have to believe in your heart and mind that tomorrow is a new day, no matter what the failures of yesterday are saying to you. If you listen to your failures of yesterday, they will keep you from having a successful today. This is true in your Christian walk and this is true for those New Year's Resolutions.

God actually likes New Year's Resolutions. He has one ready for you every day of your life. He wants you to let the failures of yesteryear stay in yesteryear. But when you fail, not if, but when, He will give you the chance to start again. So instead of giving up on your New Year's Resolution, try forgiving yourself when it doesn't go as planned and forget the past failure. Then start over. That's right, start over in any area of your life: your marriage, your job, your weight, your children, maybe even your faith. If it wasn't for God allowing us to start over, we would never be saved. So go ahead and make those New Year's Resolutions, but remember to forget the past. Tomorrow is brand new and everyday is New Years.

1. How do you view your past failures; do your forgive them?
2. How can you determine, every day, to forget your past failures?
3. How can you believe that tomorrow will be different than yesterday?

Add. Scriptures for Study: Ps 103:12, Jn 20:23, Gal 6:15, 1 Jn 2:12

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