Galatians 5:22-23 Says “But the Fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.”
It’s a new year and we are making our resolutions once again! Which of course, it take lots of self-control to keep up with a list of improvements we need to make. We often set up unrealistic expectations and fail at keeping our resolutions before we even start, or we make resolutions to do things that should just be an everyday part of our lives. These things may be beneficial, but not as life changing as we may think.
As humans, we focus on a list of things that can improve our lives. The way we look. The way feel physically. The way others perceive us. I’m sure many of our New Year’s resolutions list look something like this:
- Drink more water
- Read more books
- Make time for me
- Go to the gym
- Do more face masks
When Jesus talks about fasting in Matthew 5, He says not to bring attention to ourselves. Don’t make it obvious, God will see what you’re doing so there is no need to show your great “self-control” off to others. This makes me think about our resolutions why we choose what we do. We do things that will make us look better. Things that will make us feel better. Yet, with all this effort we end up choosing resolutions that we can brag to our friends (real or on Facebook) about when we succeed or when we fall short we seek the support of others who have no self-control and fail to achieve their own resolutions. So many of our resolutions are temporary fixes and don’t have any real lasting impact on our eternity. In Matthew 5:19-20, Jesus goes onto say “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy… But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven…”
What if we changed our perspective from “New Year’s Resolutions” to “Daily Spiritual Goals”?
- Drink more Living Water (John 7:37-38)
- Read more books of the Bible (Romans 10:17)
- Make more time for others (1 Peter 4:10)
- Exercise your testimony (Romans 10:14)
- Take your masks off and be more genuine (1 Samuel 16:7)
In Titus 2:11-12, Paul tells us that it is God’s grace that teaches us right from wrong and compels us to live upright and self-controlled lives. Let our prayer this year be “God, please help me to stick with the human goals I have, but more importantly, let me glorify you in everything I do. Give me the discipline and self-control to do what is right, physically and spiritually. In Jesus name, Amen.”