New Year’s Resolutions. Who needs them? Who wants them? At least that is how I have always felt about making resolutions at the start of each year. I recently read that only 8% of new year’s resolutions are ever even achieved, so I must not be the only disappointed resolution-ist!
It seems that every year upon prompting, I set out to identify areas of needed improvement in my life, but instead, I find myself scrutinizing my body, my habits, and my entire being. A routine intended to be a healthy self-check can take a turn for the worst very quickly if we are not careful.
Our focus can easily shift from a godly view to a worldly view of ourselves, and that is a danger zone, my friends. When our focus changes, everything else of importance follows; our perspective shifts, our purpose loses definition, and our sense of self-worth diminishes. Moral compasses fail, and peace and joy are no longer within our reach.
Why are we so often swayed by the world and left disappointed with ourselves?
Perhaps you can relate to this: The resolutions that I can recall from years’ past were not always achievable.. or exactly practical.. or God-honoring. To be honest, my resolutions often centered around changes I thought I needed to make to meet social standards.
Have you ever resolved to change your physical appearance or alter your personality with an end goal being to “fit in with the popular crowd” rather than to make improvements in your overall health or social skills?
Social media “likes” and thinner thighs may bring temporary joy, but the elated feelings will soon fleet when the next best thing or new social standard arrives.
Know that the glitz and glamour of the world will not last, nor will the joy that we find in material possessions and accomplishments. Turn your focus to God, the source of everlasting peace and joy. His love never fails, and you can never disappoint Him. Seek His will for your life, and He will guide you to paths of better ways.
In January, I was itching for a fresh start to the year but saw no value in setting the typical resolutions. Instead, I sought a new approach for 2018 and started by examining the word “resolution.” I asked God for a new definition that held actual purpose and meaning in my life. Gradually, God revealed the freshest word to my heart! Here it is:
Think of “resolution” in terms of a camera and the photographer adjusting the lens to capture a picture with the best clarity and the finest detail and the most brilliant colors. The photographer can see the whole scene, the full expanse of the setting, but the viewer can only see what is captured through the camera lens. Not every picture taken turns out well, but a blurry picture does not lessen the beauty of the setting in the eyes of the photographer.
God is the photographer, and I am the viewer.
I can only see moments of my life at a time. The pictures I see of my world are not always clear and beautiful; but sometimes they are. Those moments where I can view breathtaking beauty remind me who is really in charge of my life. God is the photographer; he chooses when to adjust the resolution and which photographs to display. He asks me, the viewer, to simply trust his judgement, because I know that he sees the whole picture!
Anytime I think I have received a message from God, I perform a check to ensure that God was the sender and that my interpretation was accurate. Paul warns that “even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light” (2 Corinthians 11:14, ESV), so I trust that my request for a verification or a clarification will not offend heaven! Most often, this case included, I find confirmation when my message aligns with scripture. After all, it is God’s written word. Here is my confirmation: √
“The eyes of the LORD are in every place, keeping watch on the evil and the good.” – Proverbs 15:3, ESV
Now it is your turn. How will you make a God-honoring resolution this year? Remember that each day brings a new opportunity, and there is no better time to start than the present!
ESV = English Standard Version Bible