It’s a word that makes me cringe. Perhaps it’s due in part to my past attempts — and synonymous failures might I add — at self-improvement by the onset of a new year. Have you ever really thought of where this whole New Year resolution idea comes from? Well, I did a little search, and thanks to Google found quite a bit of information on this seemingly unattainable practice.
According to one website*, the history of New Year’s dates back over 4,000 years ago, with many modifications along the way, evolving into what we know today. It is said that 80 percent of people break their resolutions by the first week of February and only 8 percent of people are successful in achieving their goals. Eight percent! If I were to equate that to a large pizza (again, we’re talking about broken resolutions here), that would be less than one slice of success! The odds really aren’t in our favor. Is it even possible? Perhaps there is a way to view these New Year resolutions through a different lens.
Dictionary.com defines resolution as “the state of being resolved, settled or determined.” If you’re anything like me, I very much like the idea of being resolved and settled. The past year has been significantly unavoidable, and it doesn’t seem to be diminishing any time soon. In the 90s, one secular artist lamented of his desire for the current year to be better than the former. Isn’t this what we long for in our new year? It was unquestionably a long 2020. And I am certain many of us are eager to move ahead into this new year with more resolve and determination. I am hopeful the new year will be better than the last. However, I must choose the correct lens in which to view these resolutions.
When I look at past attempts, I can clearly see my self-reliant approach, wherein I left no room for God. I made my resolutions for myself in my timing and in my planning, ultimately in my control. Well, I learned this was a recipe for disaster, let alone failure. My control — didn’t Jesus die for this? Didn’t He come to a broken people to rid them of their selfishness? Where is my identity truly found – in me or in Christ? This is the inner struggle Paul speaks of in Romans 7. However, as Paul learned contentment in all things through the power of the Holy Spirit, there is a way. It takes willingness, perseverance and a determined spirit to be led by His Spirit. There it is, that word again — determined.
If I desire to be resolved or settled, then I must willingly lay down my rights and let Him lead. Allow Him to become greater wherein I become less. Resolutions where He is the guiding force. Resolutions that will ultimately bring about change, focus and refreshment for my life. This new year offers much opportunity to do just that. Join me in the challenge. Be resolved, settled and determined to begin this new year saying goodbye to what is behind and encouraged in what lies ahead.
If you find yourself longing for a fresh start to this new year, there are many opportunities available for you to resolve, refocus and refresh. Here are a few to consider.
re|engage offers a safe environment to connect with your spouse and work through your marital issues. If you’re unsure how your marriage ranks, check out our ten signs to see if you relate (https://ccbcfamily.org/10-signs-its-time-to-prioritize-your-marriage/). Open group begins the week of January 10. Click here to get signed up.
Women in the Word offers a place to explore God’s truths together in a fun, relative way. Each of our three campuses offer morning and evening groups online. The new spring begins the week of January 10. Visit the Women’ Ministry page to learn more and get signed up.
Band of Brothers offers men the chance to connect and learn how God uses everything you face to shape and sharpen you. The new spring study begins the week of January 10. Visit the Men’s Ministry page to learn more and get signed up.
Thrive offers opportunity within community to go deeper with your faith, to be encouraged, to be real and to be challenged and, ultimately, experience life-giving growth. The next session begins the week of January 24. Click here to learn more and get signed up.
Home Groups offer opportunity for anyone in any life stage to gather together in community to study God’s Word, form new friendships and simply do life together. If you have interest in learning more about home groups or want to get signed up, visit our Home Group page right here.
*Trafalgar Tours, Inc., trafalgar.com/real-word/history-new-years-resolutions/