What I Love About New Year’s Resolutions

It’s a pretty popular time to talk about why New Year’s Resolutions are ineffective and stupid to even make but I really appreciate them.  It’s easy to look negatively at the cultural standards of weight loss, financial management, and the like but there is a thread of hope in this season too.  There are two areas that I think we can focus on and see opportunity leading into the New Year.

First is the attitude by those who would make resolutions that they are not complete and need to make adjustments in their life to meet, even their own standards.  Our culture seemingly communicates two contradictory ideals simultaneously; you are everything you could ever hope to be therefore no one should judge you and that you need endless products, services, relationships and therapy at all times to better yourself.  It’s an interesting bifurcation that we see crop up this time of the year.

And secondly is that even when we set our own standards and goals we miss them.  If it’s something simple we’ll forget and if it’s something complex we fail.  New Year’s Resolutions have become a joke to the younger and more cynical generations because we know that they will eventually fail.  I have some trainer friends at gyms that joke about the month of January because the gym gets so busy and they can immediately tell who will make it to the end of the week, let alone the year.

Did you know that more than 75% of people fail their resolutions by February?  The Bible tells us that there is nothing new under the sun (ecc.1:9) and for us as believers that’s a good thing.  We can help people understand that if we can’t even measure up to our own standards how can they ever measure up to God’s?  And the good news of the Gospel is that our lives don’t measure up because Jesus did and died for us in spite of our sin and we can experience His grace everyday.  He wants to transform us from the inside out in the ways that matter and this year let’s engage in conversations about resolutions with redemption in mind.

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