I’m a New Year’s Day wimp. I hate making resolutions. The plans to lose weight, or to exercise daily, quit smoking, learn a new skill, read the Bible, balance the checkbook, or get organized for good just depress me.
Therefore, I felt vindicated the other day when I came across an online poll at a Christian site. It asked people who made a resolution last year if they managed to keep it. The results: one third succeeded, two thirds did not. “Hah!” I thought. “I’m in the majority.”
How come so many failed? And, how many people didn’t even make a resolution in the first place, because—like me—they suspected they would fail?
The truth is, whether we make resolutions or not, whether we succeed in keeping them or not, change is hard work. It takes honest and on-going self-assessment, discipline, perseverance, patience, optimism, resourcefulness, and more effort than I’m usually willing to put forth. I’m very aware of my failures in keeping prior New Year’s resolutions!
God, in contrast, has all he needs to make resolutions a reality. He’s perfect. He’s got discipline, drive, resources. He created the universe without breaking into a sweat–so what must He think of us weaklings? What does he think of me?
“The Lord… is loving toward all he has made. The Lord upholds all those who fall and lifts up all who are bowed down… The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.” (Ps. 145:13-14,18)
News flash: God has compassion toward people like me! If I approach him with truth—admitting I’m a New Year’s Day wimp—He is willing to help.
When chocolate calls my name, He knows. When the warmth of the covers is stronger than my resolve to work up a sweat (yuck!), He knows. When I fall back into a bad habit, He knows. But He doesn’t despise me as a result. The Psalm says it twice in four verses: “The Lord… is loving toward all he has made” (14, 17). He even loves and helps resolution renegades like me.