Here’s a quick list of the Top 5 Resolutions in America for 2015
1. Get Fit
2. Get Organized
3. Get (Financially) Balanced
4. Learn Something New
5. Quit Something Old
You know what? These are the same resolutions as last year’s…and I’m guessing the same as the one before that too!
I had a friend I grew up with in Alabama who always had the latest gaming system. I can seriously recall every major gaming system of my youth not because I had it, but because he had them all. The Commodore 64, The Atari 2600, The NES, The Sega Genesis.
Despite the fact that he was the only friend I had with access to such cutting edge technology, I grew to not want to go over his house and play video games with him…WHY? Because he went through this period where if the game wasn’t going his way he would press the…Yep, you guessed it! He would always press the RESTART button.
Here’s the thing about those pesky resolutions…love them or hate them…they are inherently, all of them, a reminder to us of something we either except or deny. And here it is – The truth is that for most of us resolutions remind us of our failures. When the New Year rolls around we set resolutions in part because we have either failed at something, or we have a new found realization that we need to improve in one or more areas of our life. You see for many of us, resolutions are our way of pressing the RESTART button.
If you’re like me, you might be tempted to think that God grows tired of us always pressing the RESTART button, but unlike me and my friend, God’s patience is capable of forgetting our past for the sake of our future.
Here’s what I need to hear, and I’m guessing you need to hear every now and and then too –
You are NOT your past, and your past is NOT your future.
Take heart, the Apostle Paul would say, “God, who has begun a good work in you, will see it to completion until the day of Christ” (Philippians 1:6).
Here’s why this verse matters so much to me – If you’re like me and you’ve failed miserably at things in the past, or like me and been a part of some pretty cool successes in your life as well – then whether you’ve failed or succeeded or been a part of a little (or a lot) of both – God’s isn’t done with you yet! That’s right! If you’ve failed then you can count on the fact that God is still leveraging the power of his Spirit to continue the process of transformation in your life (read the first few verses of Romans 8 next time you get the chance). If you’ve succeeded in the past, then the good news is that your past successes are nothing compared to what God is going to do with you moving forward if you lean into to his invitation to live as Jesus lived.
So…who out there is with me and needs to press the RESTART button on last year…or the first few days of this year? Just remember this, God’s mercies are new EVERY morning!