I was once told by a member of our church that they made a New Year’s resolution that was not to make any more New Year’s resolutions. It is indeed frustrating to make resolutions that you cannot seem to fulfill. It is sort of like starting out each Sunday with the thought that you will not need to confess your sins or find absolution again.
Setting the bar high is not a bad thing but you should not beat yourself up if you don’t always reach it. To me, resolutions are good because they are made after some reflection about your life and the recognition that you need to change some things in order to be a better person. I personally do not strive for perfection – I am well aware that I am far from perfect but that a step int the right direction is a whole lot better than continuing mindlessly on the wrong path.
New Year’s gives us a chance to look at the future. An opportunity to begin again and accomplish things that have been left undone and to reconfigure our lives in a healthier way. All of us are a work in progress, and all of us need to be working on our selves. I don’t mean this to instill guilt – although a lot about religion is about using guilt and fear to motivate people. Rather, I choose to be motivated out of love and respect for myself and others. On any given day, I can go over to the “dark side” and explore new ways to waste time, misplace my anger, entertain destructive thoughts.
It is here where faith comes in full force because, when I look to Jesus, I see not only forgiveness and mercy but I see someone who lifted people in such a way so that they could see themselves as better people. He freed them from the baggage they were carrying, from the lifestyle that was holding them back and allowed them to grasp a life of health and healing. I see 2016 helping me along that path.