A 2012 post on Time.com listed the ten most broken New Year’s Resolutions. They are:
- Lose Weight and Get Fit
- Quit Smoking
- Learn Something New
- Eat Healthier and Diet
- Get Out of Debt and Save Money
- Spend More Time with Family
- Travel to New Places
- Be Less Stressed
- Drink Less
I must confess that I have made several of those same resolutions in the past and in most cases broke them. I believe that we all can relate. Making and breaking New Year’s resolutions became so common for me that I finally stopped making them. I always began sincerely and really tried to stick with them but it wasn’t long before I slipped up and all my good intentions were for naught. It left me feeling worthless and guilty. I still make plans and set goals for myself but I leave enough room for grace. You never know what’s going to happen. You never know when you’re going to have to change your plans.
A lot of people begin the year trying to set spiritual goals. They want to figure out how God can use them over the next 365 (366 this year) days. They want to know what God’s “will” for them is. That is the one thing that most of us have in common. We want to know what we should be doing and how we should be doing it. Colossians 3:17 is one of my life verses and I believe it is applicable here. Paul writes:
Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father. (NASB)
You know, it doesn’t matter if you are a teacher, a farmer, a plumber, a mechanic, or a preacher. God’s will is the same. I truly believe that. First of all, He wants us to love Him above everything else. Secondly, He wants us to love others in such a way that they see Him. No matter what you do for a living, that is what God wants you to do.
As you look forward to 2016 I challenge you to take the words of Colossians 3:17 to heart. It really doesn’t matter what you plan to say or do next year if you are doing it in the name of Jesus. Even if you stumble and fall, God will be glorified if you were truly working for Him. Romans 8:28 reminds us that He can work all things out to accomplish His plans, no matter how badly we think they have gone. Proverbs 16:1-3 says:
The plans of the heart belong to man,
But the answer of the tongue is from the Lord.
All the ways of a man are clean in his own sight,
But the Lord weighs the motives.
Commit your works to the Lord
And your plans will be established. (NASB)
When we are truly seeking to honor God with our lives, He hears our prayers and He answers. The key to that is seeking HIS will. In the opening verses of Colossians 3 Paul tells his readers that they are to set their minds on things above. We are to focus on Christ. That’s what I am trying to remember as I map out 2016. I hope and pray that you do the same.
Grace and peace.