Another Resolution? Really?

Another Resolution? Really?

By Gary Pond
We’ve just begun a new year and for many it’s a time to strap on your willpower and make that attempt for the umpteenth time, to start doing, or stop doing whatever that thing is that’s been bothering you all year. Keeping in mind the definition of insanity as “doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results,” the totally insane part of this is that we attempt it again with a New Year’s resolution.
According to U.S. News and World Report about 80% of these resolutions fail by February. Those aren’t good odds, my friend! Maybe this year it may be better to try a different approach.
So many of Jesus’ teachings are so counter to our culture we don’t even think to apply them in many circumstances. If you want to be first, make yourself last! If someone takes something from you give them more! Paul goes on to say if you want to be strong, be weak! Even the faith we practice is influenced by our culture. We start learning at a young age in Sunday school the disciplines needed to gain spiritual strength. We are taught to pray, to read scripture, to give, to serve, all good and vital things to our faith, but when they are used as a goal to climb the spiritual ladder and gain spiritual power, then they become counter to Jesus’ teaching, “Happy are those who know they are spiritually poor” (GNT). So, to be first you must be last, to be strong you must be weak and to be happy you must know you are spiritually poor, or as The Message translation says “You’re blessed when you are at the end of your rope.” Wow! I think we’re on to something here.
Maybe we can try approaching this new year from a different perspective. Whatever that thing in your life is that you want to change, how about giving up on willpower or any other kind of power and try powerlessness instead. The first principle of recovery in Celebrate Recovery states “Realize I’m not God. I admit that I am powerless to control my tendency to do the wrong thing and that my life is unmanageable. Happy are those who know they are spiritually poor.”
If you want to be successful with whatever needs to change, I challenge you to choose recovery this year. We begin teaching the steps and principles of recovery from the beginning in January. Since most New Year’s resolutions fail by February, I challenge you to commit to come every Tuesday in January and February. I think you’ll have more success than ever before and will want to “Keep coming back.”
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