New Year's Resolutions|
How to Keep Them
How often we feel we failed. We lost our job. Or our marriage fell apart. Our child dropped out of school. Or he ended up in jail. We didn't lose that 20 pounds last year. We didn't clean out the attic. Or we lost our home. So much for New Year's resolutions, right?
According to Webster's Dictionary a resolution is just a formal statement expressing the will or intent of someone. But, thankfully God is more gracious and loving than we are. He doesn't ask us to do more than we are able - we just manage to do that to ourselves.
Forget the Past - Push Ahead
Why don't we start by looking at things the way God does this year? For instance, the apostle Paul said… "I forget what is behind me. I push hard toward what is ahead of me" (Phil. 3:13, NIrV).
In other words, no matter what we said or did five minutes ago we can remember Paul's advice and push on ahead and forget the past. We can't change what we did in the past. But, we can start right now and do better. That's a doable resolution.
Different Strokes for Different Folks
Not only that, God even sets different standards for us than we do. Unlike us He lovingly takes into account our unique background and upbringing. If we grew up in a household of swearing, hostile people He takes that into account when He judges us. The Lord Jesus proclaimed,
… "someone who does not know, and then does something wrong, will be punished only lightly. When someone has been given much, much will be required in return; and when someone has been entrusted with much, even more will be required" (Luke 12:47-48, NLT).
Never Give Up
So please don't give up when things don't go the way you wish. It's clear the degree of reward or loss we receive from the Lord is commensurate with the willfulness or knowledge of the servant (1 Cor. 4:5).
In fact, church leaders, religious teachers and those raised in strong, Christian homes will probably be held more accountable than others for their behaviors. That is because someone who is fully aware of the King is held to a higher standard than someone who is not (Matt. 19:30; 1 Cor. 3:12-15).
So "hang in there" and keep on keeping on! You have been saved by grace (Eph. 2:8). You also have the same opportunity as other believers to receive rewards from the Lord (2 Cor. 5:10).
As the apostle Paul said, "Let us keep running the race marked out for us" (Heb. 12:1, NIrV).
Go for it!