We all know New Year’s resolutions rarely, if ever, work. We may not realize why, but we have repeatedly experienced the failures of the goals, aims, or changes we planned for a new year or various Mondays throughout the year. Over the past months, I came to realize something important. All of my past Words of the Year didn’t have the success I’d envisioned because I focused on the goal, not myself, not my own bad habits. It is a whole lot easier to give in a bad habit than it is to break it and build a new, better habit.
The word of the year for 2020:
I was in WalMart a few months ago, looking at some sugary delights. I moseyed over to that section because I was sure I heard them calling my name. I reminded myself to only get a small item so when I ate it all without restraint, I wouldn’t have done too bad. I had already figured out that freedom didn’t look like I thought it should.
The truth of freedom is that, as born again Christians, Christ paid the heaviest of costs for our freedom on the cross. All the years I thought I was fighting demons, addiction, or some force I couldn’t name or understand, I was really only fighting myself. Or my self nature, to be more direct. Me…I was fighting ME! As I stood there looking at the table of sweets, I knew I really did have a choice.
If I chose the cookies, I could then choose to have only one of them, but would I? My habit was to mindlessly graze on junk the way home. Or I could walk away. If I take the cookies then I must consider the baggage that comes with it: I would, most likely, be dealing with the urge to eat with abandon the rest of the night if I overdosed on sugar. Did I really want to fight with myself all night long? How many times did I choose my bad habit over my desire to lose weight?
For all the times I times in my life I felt like I had no choice but to continue on in the very way that made me miserable I have to admit I believed a lie. Every time I said “It’s stronger than me.” I believed a lie and forgot the promise:
“I can do all things through ChristPhilippians 4:13
who strengthens me.”
No matter how strong the urge to give in to the very thing you want to avoid (be it sugar, relationships, addiction, spending…or anything else you fight) with Christ, you are stronger than the pull. If you do it anyway, you choose that path. Discipline comes when we begin to tell self “No.” And in the beginning, that’s a really hard thing to do. Break those habits, those chains, those unhealthy patterns. I know I am.
Happy New Year, my friends!
May you find a BREAK!