Speaking of Life 5033 | Our Great Resolution
We are in the middle of the year and it’s time to ask how your New Year’s resolution is going. What was your resolution?
One company tracked the top resolutions for 2022. Ranging from, exercising more, to having more time for friends and family, to spending less time on social media, and lastly reducing stress at work
Some of us might be doing great. Some of us didn’t make any resolutions. And some of us might want me to change the subject. I get it.
If you haven’t done so well on your resolution, don’t be discouraged. In 2019, it was reported that only 8.9% of people polled succeeded in keeping their New Year’s resolution throughout the previous year. That’s a failure rate of over 91%.2
Here’s an example:
A friend of mine told me about being quite convicted by a sermon when he was 13. He felt guilty about how he had been treating his younger brother, so he decided that he would show him kindness and not pick on him for an entire day. With all the strength and resolve he had in him, he set out to be a good brother. That lasted about thirty minutes. He discovered that while he knew what he should do, he didn’t have it in him to do it. His resolve was good but misplaced.
In the book of Romans, Paul shares our struggle with keeping resolutions as he wrote to Jewish leaders who were having a difficult time accepting the fact that they could not resolve their way out of sin. Paul explains his own struggle.
So I find it to be a law that, when I want to do what is good, evil lies close at hand. For I delight in the law of God in my inmost self, but I see in my members another law at war with the law of my mind, making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. Wretched person that I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!
Romans 7:21-25a (NRSVUE)
Paul empathizes with us. We know what we want to do – thus the New Year’s resolutions – but we can’t follow through. Paul, himself, had to come to the end of self-effort and throw himself upon the mercy of God.
In this passage, Paul comes to the one answer that gives him peace. Thank you, Jesus. He is the only true rescuer; he alone saves us.
Right after sharing this with his readers, Paul informs them that in Jesus they are no longer slaves of sin, condemnation is removed, and they have been adopted into God’s family and now live by the Spirit.
Resolutions don’t bring about change; Jesus does. We can’t change, but he can change us. We learn to stop trusting in our own efforts but trust in the accomplishments of Christ Jesus. He is our hope and our answer. He is our great resolution this year, and every year to come.
I’m Cara Garrity, Speaking of Life.