I have never cared much for the idea of New Year’s Resolutions.
I like goals and measurable benchmarks to evaluate progress or improvement. I like lists…no, that is an understatement.
I ADORE lists.
The feeling of accomplishment I get when I can successfully strike through a task signaling completion is nearly unparalleled. But, the most popular resolutions always seem a little tenuous to me. I find them generally unrealistic and typically broken before Valentine’s Day. Eat healthy. Exercise more. Learn something new. Balance my life. Save more. Donate more. Get organized.
With the exception of that last one (because let’s be serious, a girl with a business called My Messy Desk isn’t likely to change that much), the average New Year’s Resolutions are all great ideas, but not exactly things I could ever realistically cross off a list.
It seems more sensible to make small changes as the need arises throughout the year than to wait for December 31st when we have accumulated even more of the things we are trying to dispel. This year, however, has been particularly crazy and I haven’t had a lot of time for introspection, as I have been swept along by one giant wave after another of life-changing events. So, I found myself sitting alone this morning contemplating all the ways I am determined to be better next year.
Don’t get me wrong, I am very happy with my MESSY life and all its craziness, but there is always room for improvement. Let’s face it, none of us is perfect.
Sin drags us off the course God intends for our life. My sin. The sin of the people around me. The sins of the world. Because we live in the flesh, we are constantly battling sin which keeps us from achieving the moral standards set forth by God. “For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice. Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me (Romans 7:19-20).”
The good that I will to do are my resolutions, the ways I want to be a better me – The MASTERPIECE God created me to be.
So, if sin keeps me from the good I will to do and the life God intends for me, what would my New Year’s resolutions look like if God authored them?
As I pondered this thought, the first and foremost thing I believe God would want for any of us is salvation, the blessed assurance of eternal life with Him in heaven by receiving His grace through Jesus Christ’s sacrifice. But even the strongest Christians are still only human and continue to battle against their flesh. How then does God call us to defeat the sin that seeks to destroy our lives? The same sin that perpetuates the need for our resolutions and keeps us from ever really being able to cross them off our proverbial list. Paul tells us in Galatians 5:16 to “walk in the Spirit and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.”
The fruits of the Spirit are “love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control” (Galatians 6:22-23). God not only desires for us to have these things in our life, but to give them freely as the opportunity arises. These are the things God wants for me, the things I think He would list as my resolutions, not just for this year, but for every year.
God does not desire the things society and our culture do, He wants for me, for all of us, those things which have eternal benefits.
I will gladly admit that I cannot fix myself on my own, no matter how many resolutions I make. That in order to actually make a change that lasts a lifetime, I need the help of the Holy Spirit.
If ever there was a list that I don’t want to cross anything off of, this is it: love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. I will make it my aim to partner with the Holy Spirit so these may ever increase in my life.
God has promised them to me and all who are willing to accept them. How will you commit to walk in the Spirit this year? If God was writing your New Year’s Resolutions, what would they be?
I’ll be praying for you.
Liz Giertz is a Veteran turned Army wife and mom to two boisterous boys who call FT Hood, Texas home for now. She is passionate about encouraging women to overcome MESSES and embrace MEMORIES as they become the MASTERPIECES God created them to be.
You can connect with her on her blog, My Messy Desk (http://www.creativeinspirationsatmymessydesk.com), as well as on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/CreativeInspirationsAtMyMessyDesk/) or Twitter (https://twitter.com/LizGiertz).