I always enjoy celebrating the New Year. It’s so fresh, good, and well…new. But as the calendar switches from December to January, some seem to expect fireworks of drive, motivation, and success to explode in their own life. And, as we all know, as the month moves on, many of those “goals” are tossed by the wayside.
In a New York Post article from 2020, a study showed that by February 1, resolutions are no longer a thought – if they can make it that long. More than 65% of resolution-setters lose their motivation in less than a month!
This year, Lifeway polled 1,005 Americans to uncover the most addressed resolution topics. They were: health (44%), a relationship with God (29%), and finances (29%). But it seems in our fast-paced society, those goals are quickly derailed.
Biblically, we’re told we should already be loving God above all else (Mark 12:30-31), considering our body as a temple (1 Corinthians 6:19-20), living as good stewards (1 Timothy 6:17-19), and giving glory to God in everything (1 Corinthians 10:31). So why aren’t those resolutions easily maintained? Because we aren’t intentional.
I gave up resolutions a long time ago. Nowadays, I choose a word for the year instead. I’ve used things like joy, peace, and patience. (Actually, I’ve used patience more than once.) But for 2022, I decided – you guessed it – that “intentional” would be my word of choice. Because like so many of those resolution-forgetters, I constantly forget to be intentional in my daily life which often leads to the failure of my goals.
New workout plan? I’ll probably get a few days in. Cutting out sugar? Maybe a day. Writing extra after work hours? Eh, TV time sounds much better. And once those decisions are made, I say things like “I’ll wait till Monday.” Just like that, I’ve chosen to give up. Then, a few days later I wind up feeling like a failure. It’s a nasty cycle when we lack intentionality. But thankfully, a friend recently reminded me about a verse to help me remember where my grace comes from.
Lamentations 3:22-23 says,
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
Correct me if I’m wrong, but does that verse say His mercies are new “every year?”
No. It says that His mercies are new every morning. Not only on Sunday, Monday, or January 1, but His mercies are new at 12:01 every morning. After a quick read, this verse seems so simple to grasp, but it has taken me a lifetime to fully understand.
His grace? New. Forgiveness? New. Mercies? New. All of it – new.
With the excitement of the newness of the year, month, or week, we take our eyes off of when His mercies become new. In reality, while most of us sleep the night away, His mercies renew. Meaning, that when those resolutions and goals fail, we don’t have to wait for a year to make new ones. Instead, we can wake up each day with fresh mercies and grace.
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong (2 Corinthians 12:9-10).