Can you afford another year of failed New Year’s resolutions? Neither can I.
Because we want to become better people, we list the bad habits we resolve to tackle during the coming year. But after failing to stick to our resolutions year after year, we approach the next year’s resolve with fading hope. We wish true change was possible, and we pray for a miracle – that next year we’ll have fewer reasons to “hate ourselves” because of the choices we made.
Our regrets stem from choices we made decades ago or perhaps only moments ago. Some of those choices eventually became bad or sinful habits. But we don’t have to make the same choices over and over again.
If yesterday was disappointing, today can be different. With God’s help, we can overcome bad and sinful behavior.
What if, at the beginning of each month, we ask God to show us one area in our lives (regarding the choices we’re making) that is displeasing to Him? Then spend the rest of the month doing whatever it takes (through prayer, meditating on Scriptures, accountability, etc.) to overcome that behavior? And then do this month after month throughout 2021?
To be clear: I’m not talking about willpower. I’m talking about staying on task, trusting God – with expectation – to actually see progress as we seek to become more like the person we really want to be in Christ.
Every time I yield to God’s grace and choose to obey Him (rather than giving in to my ingrained behavior), I grow in my confidence that God is changing me. That I can change.
As my hope grows, my anxiety shrinks.
The first step we must take is to repent of our wrongful behavior and accept God’s mercy for our immoral and unwise yesterdays. We then reach forward to see what lies ahead, as the apostle Paul wrote about in Philippians 3:13 (ESV):
“Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead.”
If you (like many of us) are struggling with regrets, 2021 can be different.
With God’s help, each month let’s commit to one area we want to work on. Minute-by-minute and choice-by-choice, through the power of the Holy Spirit, let’s reach toward what lies ahead – a different way of living. A different way of thinking.
Sheryl H. Boldt, a Franklin County resident, is the author of the blog, www.TodayCanBeDifferent.net. Connect with her at [email protected]
This article originally appeared on The Star: We can live differently in 2021