It’s about that time of year again. December 31st in typically the day when we say goodbye to the past year and optimistically look forward to the new one. Likewise, we will look back on 2016 and despite many successes that we may have had we will also look back on our failures and our thoughts will be something like “In the new year I will do so much better at (insert your own bad habits).”
In 2017 I won’t eat as much junk food.
In 2017 I won’t spend as much money on myself.
In 2017 I will be a better Christian.
In 2017 I won’t waste my time watching television.
In 2017 I will stop letting my house get messy.
For some people, these resolutions may even be something more serious.
In 2017 I will stop watching porn.
In 2017 I will stop getting drunk all the time.
In 2017 I won’t smoke another cigarette.
The problem is that despite your good intentions, your resolve will fail.
As human beings there are many things that we are good at, but being determined to attack the sinful things in our life and look more like Jesus is not one of them. In our human nature we are constantly going to fail in the realm of being so resolved that we can fix ourselves. Although the year may have changed our human nature has not.
Our problem stems from our sinfulness and while our motivation to fix ourselves may be there, our spirit will never line up. We have all tried to fix ourselves before and it just hasn’t worked. Despite your “resolutions” in 2017 you won’t stop drinking, being lazy, over eating, cheating on your spouse, or failing in general… at least not on your own.
You see, to become new we need Jesus. In 2 Corinthians 5:17 the apostle Paul (formerly the murderer Saul) states that if we are in Christ we are a new creation. While the blemishes of our sinfulness may cause us to feel ashamed the beauty of Jesus’ perfection covers us, and the Father looks down and says “They are mine.”
So, if you have one resolution in 2017, make it the resolution to truly accept the Gospel for what it is. It is not a self-help plan to fix yourself and it’s not the mindset that says if we become better, then we will be loved. It is the truth that despite our failures, Jesus didn’t fail and His sacrifice is sufficient to make us new in the eyes of God.
If you’ve never truly followed Jesus, make that your resolution in 2017 because He is the only one who has the power to truly make us into the person we were created to be, and give us the life we were created to live.
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