According to an article in the Journal of Clinical Psychology, 25 percent of people who make New Year’s resolutions will give up on them within a week. By the end of January, 36 percent of resolvers have succumbed to their old habit or lifestyle. And after six months? Over half—54 percent—have decided to ditch the resolution.
Resolutions require us to be resolute about following through. But being resolute isn’t always fun.
I’ve shared on this blog about my wife Tanya’s scrumptious cooking, especially around the holidays. It’s quite irresistible. We eat a delectable amount of fudge at Christmas—and then reality hits me. There are consequences for such indulgences.
Last week, I made the transition to eating more salads than fudge. And while I’m fully aware of all the health benefits of eating a generous portion of greens each day, their taste pales in comparison to rich fudge. Life, however, is not always about what tastes the best, but about doing the right thing. For me, salad is the right thing.
The beginning of the New Year is also a time for us to reflect on our spiritual well-being. If we can be really honest and transparent with one another, we must admit that maintaining a daily practice of staying in God’s Word is no easy task. It’s healthy to take a moment to recognize the importance of spending daily time with God, and then plunge in headfirst again. But that plunge isn’t always easy to make.
The discipline of walking the Christian life is much like the discipline of exercise—you have to get into the practice of it. One of the more difficult steps we take is that of starting again. Yet once we take it, spending daily time in the Word seems manageable. Just like we understand the value of daily exercise for our physical well-being, daily time with God has the same impact on our spiritual well-being.
The mundane repetition of lifting weights or jogging on a treadmill often seems like an exercise in futility, yet over time we see results. Likewise with our spiritual walk. I’m always amazed when I go back and re-read portions of Scripture I’ve read before, and discover something entirely new. I wonder how I could have possibly missed such a profound truth the first time. It seems to be part of how God reveals Himself to us through the Scriptures.
We must recognize that committing to spend time with God isn’t just about keeping a resolution—it’s about connecting ourselves to the source of all life. It’s an important distinction to make. We’re not approaching such a resolution as something we’re simply doing this for the next six months; rather, it’s something we’re doing to make room for the Holy Spirit to truly transform our hearts.