Promises Made to be Broken?

With the holiday season I have been unable to post anything since before Thanksgiving, so it’s lovely to be back on here again! On the last day of the year! Dec. 31st is a special day to me — I always rearrange my room, get my schoolwork in order, and organize my plan for Bible for the next year. 2008 will be my eighteenth year — I will be “officially” an adult! All of this is so exciting… and then I get into my “resolutions mentality”.

I don’t know exactly when it started… maybe when I was ten or so… but every December 31st I would write down my list of resolutions for the coming year:

*eat less chocolate
*be nice to siblings
*clean your room
*eat less chocolate
*read Bible daily
*help mother more often
*eat less chocolate…

Needless to say, my “goals” lasted until February 19th at the latest before I threw in the towel and collapsed in a heap of despair. It just wasn’t possible! But every year I tried again, only to fail miserably. I attributed this to a lack of self-discipline, which, to an extent, it was; but when I turned fourteen, I saw that it was something more. It was when I was fourteen that I was saved. It was in that year that I realized my resolutions would never come to fruition. What a frustrating thought. So where did that leave me, and how did I draw such a confounding conclusion anyhow?

In every Hallmark store, on every TV commercial, in every “inspirational” devotional book– around the turn of the year, what do you hear all around you? “This year my goal is to…” “My New Year’s resolution is…” “This year I will conquer my tendencies toward shopoholicism…” “I will no longer be bound to my addiction to chocolate… (a lie for all women)”… and what comes of these claims? Usually, nothing. New Year’s resolutions are a joke.

Unless you have the new life.

That’s what I found out when I turned fourteen. Unless you have the new life, how can you be different in the new year? You can resolve yourself blue in the face, but human resolve accomplishes nothing without superhuman strength. Resolutions are just words easily forgotten; promises intended to be broken. It should not surprise us, or really even disappoint us, when we fail in our proclamations. It is to be expected. Who is there to hold you accountable to your goals? What are you accomplishing in your goals anyway? What or who are they for? Yourself? For the most part, the world throws out random contributions of “good deeds” as their New Year goals — not because they care, but because it makes them feel better. Maybe they do want to stop smoking… drinking… eating chocolate… but why? Usually so they look, feel or seem better than they are. It’s all about them. They break their promises because they have no one to answer to but themselves, and they can forgive themselves for failing!

But what about us? Those of us who have the New Life have a promise that protects us from failure. This is the promise of God’s strength.

“He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Most gladly therefore I will rather glory in my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may rest on me.” 2 Cor. 12:9

We will fail, yes; but we have Someone to hold us accountable for that failure, and we have His strength to avoid it in the future. We are free to make goals, to have dreams, and to create a vision — because if it is God’s will, He will help us accomplish what we have set out to do.

So this year, I will have goals, but I will also have the strength to accomplish them. I will have dreams, but I have Someone to surrender them to. I will have hopes, but I will have Someone to be my ultimate Source of hope. And I may even have “resolutions”… but now I also have God’s resolve!


3 Responses

  1. Great, great post!

    Isn’t it a comfort to know that, even though we will most definitely fail, that our God is faithful and gives us the strength to get up and try again.

    Our lives are not about perfection, but about obedience and perseverance.

    May you have a great New Year as you rest in the faithfulness of God.


    PS: I recently created a new blog, and I would love for you to check it out.

  2. Thanks for sharing! I had to chuckle a bit when you mentioned the “eating less chocolate” part. I’m glad you are back to post some more… your posts are a blessing and very inspiring. Happy New Year, may the Lord continue to bless you in all you do for His glory.

  3. Oddly enough, I made some resolutions for lent today. They’re not too demanding, but I think I will be lenient about keeping them.

    I like your perspective. You are an excellent writer. I would like to get acquainted with you.

    Maria Pauline

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