Have I waited too late to blog about my New Year's resolutions? After all, it's January 12th already, and just about every blogger I know has published a post about them. Hopefully I'm not too late because I've been doing a lot of thinking about how to keep those resolutions I've made.
I've resolved to be more disciplined in several areas this year, not the least of which is my health (i.e., exercise regularly, eat better, and lose weight). You know the drill. But can I make it happen by just trying harder?
That's the thing about me and resolutions--I make them because I am doing so poorly in a particular area that I think more self-control and self-discipline will fix the glaring error in my life. But if that's all it takes, why is my weight an issue? I've resolved to lose weight a lot in the last ten years, and I'm fairly certain trying harder isn't going to fix me this year. Neither will guilting myself or setting a goal. (Don't get me wrong--those things are helpful and I will try harder and have set goals).
So, where's the power coming from?
Me or God?
If I'm trusting in myself, I'll fail. The gospel teaches me that. Self-sufficiency is idolatry and doomed from the beginning.
However, if I trust that God is gracious and powerful to sanctify every part of my life, I can ask for His help and lean on His strength to purify these areas. And that's what I need this year. I need to bring my health, my writing life, and the other places where I lack discipline or motivation to Him. For He loves to change His sons and daughters for His glory. In fact, He has promised to do just that.
So, overall, I'm committing these areas to God. Asking Him to sanctify them. Choosing to view them as ways to worship Him. And bringing each temptation, each nudge to quit or cheat, to Him as well. For this is how change happens.
Paul Tripp said, "You and I live in little moments, and if God doesn't rule our little moments and doesn't work to recreate us in the middle of them, then there is no hope for us, because that is where you and I live."
What about you? Do you have resolutions for 2011? Whose power are you tapping into to keep and reach them?
Want to read more? Check out John Piper's thoughts from 2009 or the full article from Paul Tripp.