A New Year Needs More than Resolutions

If it didn’t work last year then it most likely won’t work this year either.  Last year I resolved to overcome at least this one weakness. I failed. Every year we work on the same old bad habits hoping this will be the year that we can become resolute enough to really conquer that stubborn habit, sin, or physical flaw.

I could be the poster child for setting New Year Resolutions. I’ve been making them for the last 50 years. As teachers we know that practice makes perfect, right? So you can imagine that after 50 years of attacking the same problem with the same solution of self will and dogged determination that I have quite perfected the art of failing. I am not alone. If we look in Scripture we can find plenty of resolutions to fix problems that didn’t end well.

In Genesis 4 Cain’s sacrifice wasn’t as good as Abel’s. He resolved to fix that. He took out Abel. It was an act of the will and he succeeded but it didn’t fix his problem with God.

In Genesis 11 the people resolve to build a tower to reach Heaven. They think that reaching God will solve their problems. Their very desire to take care of their own problem resulted in something worse than what they set out to fix.

In Genesis 12-16 we have this amazing story of how God called Abram. He promised to make of him a great nation. Abram and his wife Sarai wait for God’s provision. Time passes and they still don’t have a child. Sari resolves to get a child one way or another. Before we know it Abram has a child named Ishmael. He became the father of the Arabs who are still fighting Israel for the rights to the Promised Land today.

The Bible is full of examples of how resolving to do what we believe is the best thing for us is futile. Hard work is an important aspect of life and we need to learn and to teach our children to be hard working and faithful but we must never forget Psalm 127:1 “If the Lord does not build a house, then those who build it work in vain. If the Lord does not guard a city, then the watchman stands guard in vain.” Net Bible  ”Psalm 127. In this wisdom psalm the psalmist teaches that one does not find security by one’s own efforts, for God alone gives stability and security.”Net Notes

Teaching our children to do things for their own betterment by their own determination is never the final solution. Bending the knee before a Holy God as we are awestruck by the fact that He loves us just like we are, but too much to leave us this way, is the only way to melt away the dross of life.  Don’t encourage them to try harder teach them to run to Jesus, to His Word for strength, joy, and satisfaction.

Suzi Ciliberti works for Christar, a Missions Agency that plants churches among least-reached Asians worldwide. She served in Japan for two years as a single missionary and another nine with her husband and two children, then the family returned to the states. She and her husband have been serving in the US Mobilization Center since 2000. As a part of the Member Care Department, Suzi is consultant to families with children. She has been working as a children’s teacher since she was 17 and began her training under Child Evangelism Fellowship. She has taught in the church, as a school teacher for two years in a Christian elementary school, and as a speaker for adults training to work with children. She has also trained children, who are a part of families that work overseas, in their identity in Christ. She brings 44 years of teaching experience to her work. She loves creative writing as well as teaching and has found great fulfillment in combining the two as she blogs for Heartprints. She finds it a great privilege and joy to serve the Lord and His people. One of her favorite verses is Deuteronomy 4:10b, "Gather the people to Me, and I will let them hear My words, that they may learn to fear Me all the days they live on the earth, and that they may teach their children."