Galatians 3:2-3 The Message
It can seem like a simple and sensible thing to make a list of New Year's resolutions – those things you want to change in your life. And for whatever reason, we feel like we have to wait until January 1 to start them.
Unfortunately, if we fail to meet our own expectations, most of us tend to chuck the whole idea and wait until another January 1st rolls around to try it again. Or maybe you don't wait for January 1. Maybe you wait for the first of the month to follow your budget, or Monday to follow your diet, or tomorrow to try to quit smoking.
While there is nothing wrong in taking a serious look at where we've been and where we're going, there is something a little out of whack when our success or failure is determined by the date on the calendar, the day of the week, or the time of day.
Following a budget doesn't have to wait until the first of the month. You can start small by not buying that designer coffee today. Instead, put that money into a container somewhere, and watch it grow every day you don't buy the coffee. Soon, your goal won't be following the budget or not buying the coffee – your goal will be to see the money in that jar grow.
Following a diet doesn't have to wait until Monday. You can start today, right now, even if you just ate half a chocolate cake. Drink a glass of water. Walk around the block. Do something positive instead of focusing on a bad choice you made and followed through on and can't do one thing about.
Quitting smoking begins with not smoking as much as you want. You can start by delaying your next cigarette just five minutes past when you first want it. The next time you can start by delaying your smoke ten minutes. Before you know it, you will be able to delay your next cigarette all day.
The important thing about making changes is to realize that you didn't get to this point all at once, and so the change is probably not going to come all at once. Set a goal. Pray. Ask God for the strength and the wisdom to apply to each tempting situation that will come your way today. And do what He tells you to do. You can't get through this by yourself – accept the fact and get on with it.
You love and serve a God Who wants to be a part of all of your life. He wants to be involved in your victories, and He wants to be there when you need a hand up. You can do everything through Him, but first you have to include Him in your plans. Stop now, confess that you haven't always done that, and ask to be able to start anew with Him. His mercies are not new just in the mornings – they are new every day, all day long.
Holy Father, thank you for speaking to me in this matter. I confess I've tried to do it on my own, and on my own I have failed. Please forgive me, and join forces with me, as together You and I make a better me, one that looks more like Your Son, Jesus, in whose name I pray. Amen.