Wednesday, 2 January 2013

One New Year's Resolution Worth Making

A New Year always feels like a fresh start, and it is a time of renewed hope and optimism.  If 2012 was a good year for you, then you hope that 2013 will be at least as good, if not even better, and if 2012 was a difficult year, there will be a sense of relief that it’s over, and you hope that things will be better in the coming twelve months. 

A New Year in many ways feels like turning over a new leaf, which is why many people like to make New Year’s resolutions. 

According to one survey these are the top ten resolutions for 2013, which throw up some interesting results (click HERE to see the full list):

1     Read more books
2     Save more money
3     Lose weight
4     Redecorate
5     Take better photos
6     Go travelling
7     Sell old unwanted stuff on eBay
8     Buy a tablet
9     Organise photos
10  Do something for charity

The trouble is that very few of us actually manage to keep our resolutions.  Most are broken by day three and discarded by day seven.  Researches reckon that less than a quarter of us will keep our resolutions.  One columnist writing in the Daily Telegraph suggested the reason for the high failure rate in keeping resolutions is that too many of us give up at the first sign of failure.  Too many of us take an ‘all or nothing’ approach to resolutions, and therefore surrender at the first bite of forbidden chocolate cake, a missed gym appointment, or a budget overspend.  Their suggestion is to give yourself another chance until the change you want to make becomes a habit.

Another reason I think we sometimes fail with our resolutions, is we take on too much, and maybe a better solution would be to choose one or at the most two changes we would like to make in our lives.

During the course of 2012 we focused on the issue of discipleship, if you are going to chose one thing to change about 2013, why not do something that will help your relationship with God to grow.

When Paul considered everything he had accomplished in his life, said that it was all worthless when compared with knowing Christ.  ‘But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.’  It is a profound statement about values, for Paul his relationship with Christ was more important than anything else, and he sacrificed everything in order to know Christ better. 

If you are to get to know Christ better this year, what sacrifices or changes do you need to make in your life?  It may involve resolving to commit to setting aside time each day to pray or read your Bible, or come to Morning Prayer at church. Or it might mean getting more involved in the life of the church, praying for people you know, looking for opportunities to talk to people about your faith, finding time to go on retreat or reading a spiritual book that will stretch, challenge and encourage you. 

Whatever you decide to do, let us all resolve to get to know God better in 2013 and to walk more closely in his steps, and let us think about what we can do to achieve this.  And when we fail, as we inevitably will, let’s not give up, but encourage and support one another as we seek to know Christ better.  So when 2013 comes to an end, we can look back on the year, and say that in the words of Hebrews we ran ‘with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.’ 

Now that is one New Year’s resolution worth making.

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