As each time zone reaches the stroke of midnight tonight millions of people around this globe will begin new commitments to milliions of new lists of new priorities for the new year. Research has shown that by the end of January 80% of resolution makers will have at first wavered, then failed, then abandoned their commitments. After twelve months only 8% of these millions will have succeeded and kept their initial resolutions.
What resolutions typically top the lists of these determined individuals? You can likely guess:
- Exercise more
- Lose weight
- Save more / spend less
- Quit smoking
- Spend more time with family and friends
The resolutions one sets reveal the priorities one holds. They can provide great insights into one’s heart if one dares to look. “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Luke 12:34).
Solomon wrote, “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” (Prov. 4:23). Jesus said, “…the things that come out of a person’s mouth [or are expressed by pen, or digitally] come from the heart…” (Matt. 15:18). “A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.” (Luke 6:45).
Jesus told the Pharisees, “God knows your hearts. What people value highly is detestable in God’s sight.” (Luke 16:15). So it is best to source one’s resolutions not from ones own heart but from the heart of God. Scripture gives us clear instruction as to what this is:
Jesus both commands and promises this: “Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” (Matt. 6:33). Or as a recent translation has it, “…make your top priority God’s kingdom and his way of life…” (NTE)*
Do this, and continue in it, and you will have the happiest new year of all!
*New Testament for Everyone (© Nicholas Thomas Wright 2011).
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