What are your New Year’s resolutions?
I’m pretty sure just about all of us get asked this question at some point around this time of year. If we’re all honest with ourselves this is a pretty loaded and stressful question. It feels like this is our one and only chance to make a change in our life. Our only chance to become the person we want to be. As if whatever happens January 1st sets us up for the rest of the year. If we fail January 1st, we fail that resolution for the year.
But that is not true!! First of all, it takes 28 days to form a habit, so one day of accomplished resolutions doesn’t mean you have the year set to go, likewise if you fail. One day of messing up, doesn’t mean you can’t get up and try again.
Here’s the thing about the new year: it creates the false idea that you can only start over one time each year. With Jesus, we get a new beginning every morning. You aren’t defined by 2017 or 2018, you are defined by your identity in Christ. And no matter how badly we feel like we mess up, Jesus loves us just the same. Maybe your resolution is to get fit this year. Or maybe your resolution is to have a more consistent prayer life. Please don’t fail once and give up. Don’t give up, get up.
“Because of the Lord’s faithful love we do not perish, for His mercies never end. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness!” Lamentations 3:22-23.
Something I really struggle with, especially around the new year, is desiring perfection. Even though I know in my heart that I will never be perfect, I still belittle myself when I fall short. Meanwhile, Jesus is shaking His head at me because I’m punishing myself for a fault He has already taken care of. He doesn’t see me as imperfect, He sees me as His. He doesn’t dwell on my past mistakes, He points me towards new opportunities.
Friends, 2018 doesn’t define you, neither does 2017. There isn’t just one day per year to start something new or make a change. If you want to start something new or stop something old, sure January 1st is a good day for that, but so is January 2nd or February 19th or August 28th or any other day of the year.
I want to encourage you to view each and every day as a new beginning. God’s mercies aren’t new every year, they are new every single morning! Because a relationship with the Lord isn’t a one and done decision, it’s a life of indefinite grace, encouragement, and love.