By Pastor Vince Carr of North Church Rockmart
“Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance;” (Romans 5:3)
Here it is, March 2019, and I apologize for not wishing you a Happy New Year! I am going to let you in on a little known fact about myself, and I know this is going to sound crazy, but I gave up on resolutions. **gasp** I know that that is almost blasphemous to say, but I can’t keep it a secret any longer. Every year I would make a promise to get healthier, be a better person, a better Christian, a better (fill in the blank). January 1st would kick in, and I was off to a running start to fulfill my promise to be a better me in the New Year! So, why did I give up resolutions? Well, I was like most of you… Well, the honest you 🙂 I would give up junk food and get into the gym, read and pray more, remember to feed my kids a home-cooked meal every night (with the occasional Taco Bell run, if I’m being honest), but then keeping up with resolutions begin to overwhelm me.
I remember going to the gym religiously, but then, I found myself slowly coming up with more and more excuses as to why I couldn’t go.
“Well, I really need to take a rest day before I burnout…”
“I should probably take tonight and spend time with the family…”
“I don’t want the gym to become an idol….”
Before I knew it, I begin making excuses for every resolution that I had made. As time went on, I convinced myself that my ‘excuses” were valid reasons for me to give up on my resolutions. This lead to the new me, simply being the same me.
How about your spiritual life? How many times have you made the resolution to be a “better Christian”. You set your alarm to wake you up to the latest Hillsong album, you make sure to say a prayer before taking a bite of your Jesus Chicken Biscuit from Chick-fil-A, and you make sure to leave everyone with a “be blessed” farewell…. Before you know it, being a Christ follower is more of a task, then a blessing.
Here is the beauty in all this, Christ doesn’t expect perfection, He wants us to be persistent in our intent to follow Him. Phew… that was a mouthful. Let’s put that in bite size form: DON’T QUIT!
Will it be hard? Yep. Will you mess up? Yep. Will it be worth it? ABSOLUTELY!
So, what do I do now that I don’t have resolutions? I strive to follow after God’s will for my life. A byproduct of that is studying His word more, spending more time with my family, and slowly getting healthier. Do I mess up? Of course. But I get up, and keep going.
So, instead of stressing yourself out with life, run after the will of the one that gave it to you… Jesus!
Prayer: Dear God, help me to give up my plans, and seek Your will. When it gets hard, remind me that it’s worth it! Amen.