And if you are like me, you probably are making goals and resolutions for the new year. January is a time of renewed hope for self-improvement and a time to feel quite confident that we will fulfill them.
But by February, many of us are right back where we started. In fact, I was going to exercise today at 4:00! I even had the time picked. But I didn’t feel like it at 4:00 and my work load was too heavy to stop to just jump around. I guess I’ve already lost and it’s only the beginning of the month!
Of course, it’s good to have the desire to become a better person and set these goals and resolutions. But have we tried asking God what He wants to do in our life this year?
Isaiah 55:8-9 says that His ways and thoughts are higher than ours. If you read the magazines they tell us differently. Most recommendations from the world are to: “Put yourself first, believe in yourself, create your own reality and follow your heart.”
God wants us to be conformed into the image of Jesus Christ. True transformation begins internally, not externally. Jesus used the example of good and bad trees that can produce only fruit that corresponds with their nature.
“No good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. Each tree is recognized by its own fruit. The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks.” Luke 6:43-45
Before reforming our behavior, we must deal with sinful thoughts, attitudes and desires, because everything we do and say flows from whatever fills our hearts. As we become more like Christ inside, it will become apparent externally. And that is the best New Year resolution.
1. Study God’s Word. It will pierce your heart and convict you of right and wrong actions.
2. Get to know Him intimately. Spend time with the Lord each day.
3. Pray each day as you get up, walk, eat, work, and lay down.
4. Serve and love others.
5. Build your life on the rock of Christ, not the sand of the world’s values. (Luke 6:46-49)
6. Take care of yourself physically and emotionally too. If you are tired, hungry or stressed your actions will show it.
We can’t be the person God wants us to be if we are exhausted and eating poorly. And neither can your children perform and grow into the person God wants them to be.
So use the new year to develop good habits for yourself and your children.
1. Help everyone to get a good night sleep. Have a calm routine, dim lighted room and regular eating and sleeping times for optimum health.
2. Eat together as a family as many nights as possible.
3. Remember who the parent is! Yes, your children will protest against good habits but stay firm. They actually find security in boundaries.
4. Don’t diet. Just start making good eating choices. I’m trying not to eat after dinner. You may want to stop drinking soft drinks and buying only healthy food to be in the house.
5. To help with these suggestions, you may need to turn off the TV and computers and cell phones. These add strong distractions to a child who needs to wind down. And an adult!
I pray that the New Year will be full of great blessings for you and your family!