Make Gospel-Centered Resolutions in 2019: Not All About You, But About God Working in You

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It’s day one of the New Year— let the resolutions begin.

Ugh.

New Year’s is perhaps the only holiday that requires its celebrants to continue the ‘festivities’ months and months after the day is out.

It’s the gift that keeps on giving.

After all the partying and fellowship die down, most people can’t help but get started setting goals and making resolutions. As a matter of fact, a full 40% of the nation’s population makes New Year’s resolutions each year.

Of course, the size and scale of these goals often differs from person to person. Many set out to change their budgets, bodies, homes, or education levels. Others want to focus on emotional well-being or the building of meaningful interpersonal connections with others.

But regardless of the specific area of interest, there exists a couple of common denominators between these resolutions worth acknowledging.

First and foremost, everyone seems to want more of something specific in their lives.

We are never satisfied.

Statista performed a study in 2017 on individuals’ New Year’s resolutions across the country. When asked, 53% of respondents wanted to save more money, 24% of respondents wanted to travel more, 23% wanted to read more books. Others wanted to increase their own personal health by losing weight, getting in shape, or quitting smoking.

More is a common focus, and that is not always bad.

Many of us could benefit from books, travel, or a little weight loss. What’s most impressionable here is the theme of discontentment; we are a society full of perpetually unsatisfied people, hungry for more of whatever we can get our hands on.

As the line in Hamilton goes, “I’ve never been satisfied.”

Actually, it’s one of the recurring themes in the show— the lack of satisfaction which both propels betterment and ultimately undermines relationships.

Second, New Year’s resolutions are mostly about trying harder.

When it comes to New Year’s resolutions, it seems that the method we use for going about getting to the ‘more’ we’ve set our sights on is the same across the board. When in doubt, most of us assume that trying harder is the solution to almost all our problems.

Are you struggling with your weight (like me)? Try hustling better at the gym. Finding it difficult to reconfigure that budget? Work more diligently. Not getting that promotion at work you’ve always wanted? Maybe you’re not putting enough effort in.

New Year’s is, without a doubt, every try-hard’s favorite holiday.

But the thing is, this whole ‘do more, work harder’ mentality hasn’t just become evident in our celebration of a once-a-year goal-setting tradition. In fact, many of us now live in a culture that is more achievement focused than any other in recent history.

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SOURCE: Christianity Today, Ed Stetzer