- A resolve or determination; to make a firm resolution to do something
- The act of resolving or determining upon an action or course of action, method, procedure, etc.
- The mental state or quality of being resolved or resolute; firmness of purpose
Hello January 1st! What a great day to dictate my hopes, dreams, actions and directions for the next year! I am determining on this day to only eat healthy things, only do healthy things, have only good attitudes and love EVERYONE!
And now, back to reality.
It is easy to be resolute in these things when we are excited about the possibilities of a new year. When life hasn't yet had a chance to put to the test our "resolving or determining upon an action or course of action".
We know that we will really do it this time.
We are strong!
We are committed!
We are fooling ourselves!!
The biggest problem with New Year's Resolutions are that they are utterly specific and completely unattainable! I resolved to quit smoking year after year... and never made it far. I resolved to only eat portion sizes and cut out extra sugar, until that first box of donuts crossed my path. I resolved to get my emotions under control, until my kid pushed all the buttons that only my kid can push (and will do so gleefully!).
Our heart is in the right place. Our desire is in the right place. But we forget about life. And we forget we aren't perfect.
So we fail. We let ourselves down. Resolution gone.
It isn't that we aren't trying, resolutions are just not life-proof.
Paul says it like this:
"I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no the evil I do not want to do- this I keep on doing. Now, if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it." Romans 7:15-20
Basically, Paul is saying no matter how good we want to be, try to be, strive to be, we are not perfect people. We will never be perfect people. We all struggle with sin, so we will all fall or fail at one time or another.
But don't be discouraged! There is Hope!
One aspect of resolutions is attainable. If you noticed, the last definition is "firmness of purpose".
Resolutions can and will succeed if they are based on our firmness of purpose. Not definite material or physical goals.
At the end of 2012, will you be able to look back and say, I never swayed from the main purpose of this year. I tried my best to love others more than myself, I tried to be healthier than I was last year. I tried to keep control of my tongue and my attitude when I usually would have let loose with every weapon in my arsenal? Those are kept resolutions.
I have defined my "firmness of purpose" for 2012 like this:
I will love Jesus this year more than I have ever loved him before. I will be more intentional about it. I will work harder at it. And I will let the fruit of that love show in the ways that God has planned for me to the best of my ability and obedience. And I will praise God even when I can't find the good in my current situation, because the good is there because God is there.
I didn't promise myself to lose 70 pounds.
I didn't promise to never lose my temper with my kids again.
I didn't promise to have all my debt paid off in six months.
I promised to love Jesus and let him work through me. That is a resolution that I will keep.