This year I decided not to make any New Year’s resolutions.
I realized that in the past, resolutions for me have been a non-committal series of declarations, which were usually long gone by the middle of January. (Let’s face it, I cannot go to the gym every single day at 6 a.m.) After these resolutions go out the window, guilt and frustration can lead to feelings of insufficiency and failure. This was a cycle that I really did not want to go through again.
Resolutions are defined as answers or solutions to a problem.
We see a problem in our life, we have made mistakes in the past, we mess up in big ways, there is something about ourselves that we don’t like, and so resolutions are another shot at perfection. The reality is that there is no way on this earth that we will achieve perfection. Since the moment sin entered the world, we became a big mess. I know I am! I am selfish, controlling, and impatient, just to name a few. And that’s on a good day! How could I find a New Year’s resolution that will fix all of my mess?
At the end of last year I was dealing with something that could not be helped by a resolution or anything of my own doing. I was in an endless cycle, digging further and further down and had hit rock bottom.
Though I had always felt God’s presence as I walked through this past year, I had never opened up to Him. Completely exhausted by guilt and shame, I turned everything over to God. The past month has so hard, humbling, and beautiful as I realized, He did not want to ‘quick fix’ me. He did not want another resolution or empty promise with no heart-felt intention. He wanted a revolution. Revolutions are movements designed to effect fundamental change. They are strategic activity toward transformation. Revolutions are not about never making a mistake, but they are about moving forward in a completely different direction.
So this year, I want a revolution, not a resolution.
Revolutions are about purity of heart, not perfection of actions. Purity, not perfection. There is amazing grace and freedom in that. When our heart is fully intent on seeking God, He is much closer by to help us when we fall (cause we’re going to). And oh man, He is so ready to reach out His hand and help us up! He knows we will mess up. He died for all of us knowing that. Do not crumble under the weight of guilt. Rejoice in knowing that God’s goal for you is wholeness! He wants us to come persistently, passionately, and personally, pursuing Him, not perfectly, but purely.
“Now may God himself, the God of peace, make you pure, belonging only to Him. May your whole self—spirit, soul, and body—be kept safe and without fault when our Lord Jesus Christ comes.”
- 1 Thessalonians 5:23
Makayla White (Senior at Appalachian State University)