As we enter the new year, everyone wants to change something about their life and situation. Some will resolve to eat healthier foods or less food. Others will buy a membership at Planet Fitness, vowing to go daily until they reach some lofty health goal. Many will vow to spend more time focusing on what really matter in life. Still others will seek to remove themselves or reduce their participation in the time eating world of social media.
In general, these lofty goals and resolutions are worthy and thoughtful means to improve one’s life. However, the average person sticks with a New Year’s resolution for less than six weeks. According to the Nielson’s Analytical firm, “Only 64 percent last longer than the first month, and only 46 percent last longer than six months. Even more discouraging is the statistic that only 14 percent of people over 50 actually achieve their resolution compared to 39 percent of people in their 20’s.”
Not very encouraging is it? Sadly, the statistics are worse when it comes to people who determine that in the new year, they will read the bible, have personal bible study, attend church regularly, tell others about Jesus, or a multitude of other wish list items for their spiritual lives.
Here are the excuses, I mean “reasons” for the overwhelming failure of the majority of resolutions according to Gold’s Gym:
C – Can’t find the time.
L – Lacking a game plan to keep you going.
I – Ignoring your commitment and falling into old patterns.
F – Frustrated with lack of early results.
F – Forgetting why you started.
These inadequacies and inabilities apply to both physical and spiritual fitness. Time does what you tell it to do or it just passes by. Lack of planning leads to default mode. Being your own accountability partner makes it easy for you to slip backward or worse. Nothing involving change is easy. Lack of focus opens you up to unfulfilled dreams and promises smashed by your own lack of determination to move forward.
For those who claim to belong to God, let me remind you what scripture says about making promises to God.
1 As you enter the house of God, keep your ears open and your mouth shut. It is evil to make mindless offerings to God. 2 Don’t make rash promises, and don’t be hasty in bringing matters before God. After all, God is in heaven, and you are here on earth. So let your words be few. 3 Too much activity gives you restless dreams; too many words make you a fool. 4 When you make a promise to God, don’t delay in following through, for God takes no pleasure in fools. Keep all the promises you make to him. 5 It is better to say nothing than to make a promise and not keep it. 6 Don’t let your mouth make you sin. And don’t defend yourself by telling the Temple messenger that the promise you made was a mistake. That would make God angry, and he might wipe out everything you have achieved. 7 Talk is cheap, like daydreams and other useless activities. Fear God instead. (Ecclesiastes 5:1-7) NLT
It is not OK to be lazy because you already know you will not keep your resolutions. However, the reality is this, you can grow fit if you are diligent and if you rely on the power of God available to make you holy and mature in the full stature of Christ. Just like physical fitness, spiritual fitness requires determination, hard work and total commitment to achieve goals.
God’s desire is for you to improve. He has already provided everything you need to live a life that is pleasing to him. (2 Peter 1:3 ). Are you using or squandering these divine resources. Will you move forward, keep the status quo, or move backward spiritually this year? That all depends on you and your willingness to allow God to produce momentum and real movement in your spiritual life.