New Years Resolutions

I like New Year’s Day, and it’s not just because of the party food and football games. I like to think of it as “reboot day”. It’s a mental thing. Yes, we can make a decision to reboot on any day of the year, but there’s just something about a new year that makes our resolutions more official and legitimate. It’s a chance for the first day of something new.

Over the years, I have heard comments like, “Making New Year’s resolutions are a waste of time, besides most people never follow through.” That may be true, but they are missing the point. It’s not about how long you will last, but it’s about the fact that you saw a need, constructed a plan and made a decision.

For as many years as I can remember, I have made some sort of New Year’s resolution, and most of the time I fell by the wayside on my commitment. But on a few occasions I followed through and developed life changing habits. I look at it like the game of baseball. The most successful hitters fail 70% of the time. For every 10 times they stand at the plate they only get 3 hits. But it’s the 30% success rate that makes them a champion. It’s not about hitting a home run, but about making enough good swings to get you around the bases to score.

Where would we be if we hadn’t decided to draw a line in the sand and make a decision to do something to improve our life? You can’t improve your life if you don’t take a risk and try.

Why make a New Year’s resolution, knowing that there’s a good chance that we will bail somewhere along the way? Because every plan, however short lived, results in incremental changes.

Bottom Line
Make a bold decision this year. Draw a line in the sand and make one or more life changing resolutions. For some, that may be to read the Bible through in one year, or set a goal to read at least one self-improvement book this year. For some, it would be connecting with a small group at your church. For others it could be a decision to make a really bold step, like getting married, losing weight, starting a new business or changing jobs.

Whatever your resolution, take time to write it down, develop a plan, determine to see it through, and then make yourself accountable.

“Commit your actions to the LORD and your plans will succeed.” Proverbs 16:3

Overcoming Fear

“For God has not given us the spirit of fear, but a Spirit of power, love and good judgment. 2 Timothy 1:7”

Fear is a powerful emotion. It can cause us to make drastic decisions or cause us to shrink into indecision. It can cause us to lose sleep, lose reason, lose our appetite and lose our hope. Like any powerful emotion, fear can control us to the point of becoming something we do not want to become.

Are you gripped by fear of what will happen in the near future? Are you at a major crossroad in your life that causes you to doubt yourself and your ability to make good decisions? As fear begins to slowly encompass you, remember that this fear is not from God, it’s from the enemy. The enemy desires for you to abandon your hope and cease trusting God.

The reality of trusting God only comes into play when you are faced with overwhelming circumstances and fear. Then you have to choose and take control. Will you acknowledge that this fear is from the enemy and cast it aside and trust God? Or will you let the enemy get into your head and render you useless?

Paul told Timothy (paraphrased) “The fear that you are feeling right now is not from God, it is from the devil. Instead of believing the lies that fear produces, believe God. He has given you a spirit of power, love and a sound mind”. That means that Christ has given you the power to overcome the fear, the love of God to assure you that He is in control, and a sound mind to make good decisions, even in the midst of doubt.

The key to overcoming doubt and fear is to have more confidence in the Lord’s ability to lead you than you have in the devil’s ability to deceive you. Trust the inner peace and cast aside the doubt and fear.

Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us (Ephesians 3:20)