We can live differently in 2021
Can you afford another year of failed New Year’s resolutions? Neither can I.
Because we want to become better people, we list the bad habits we resolve to tackle during this new year. But after failing to stick to our resolutions year after year, we approach this next year’s resolve with fading hope. We wish true change was possible, and we pray for a miracle –that in 2021 we’ll have fewer reasons to “hate ourselves” because of the choices we made.
Our regrets stem from choices we made decades ago or perhaps only moments ago. Some of those choices eventually became bad or sinful habits. But we don’t have to make the same choices over and over again.
If yesterday was disappointing, today can be different. With God’s help, we can overcome bad and sinful behavior.
What if, at the beginning of each month, we ask God to show us one area in our lives (regarding the choices we’re making) that is displeasing to Him? Then spend the rest of the month doing whatever it takes (through prayer, meditating on Scriptures, accountability, etc.) to overcome that behavior? And then do this month after month throughout 2021?
To be clear: I’m not talking about willpower. I’m talking about staying on task, trusting God – with expectation – to actually see progress as we seek to become more like the person we really want to be in Christ.
Every time I yield to God’s grace and choose to obey Him (rather than giving in to my ingrained behavior), I grow in my confidence that God is changing me. That I can change.
As my hope grows, my anxiety shrinks.
The first step we must take is to repent of our wrongful behavior and accept God’s mercy for our immoral and unwise yesterdays. We then reach forward to see what lies ahead, as the apostle Paul wrote about in Philippians 3:13 (ESV):
Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead.
If you (like many of us) are struggling with regrets, 2021 can be different.
With God’s help, each month let’s commit to one area we want to work on. Minute-by-minute and choice-by-choice, through the power of the Holy Spirit, let’s reach toward what lies ahead – a different way of living. A different way of thinking.
What do you think?
I’d love to hear your thoughts about this post. (Others might also benefit from your comment.)
- Can you afford another year of failed New Year’s resolutions?
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Thank you for this. I struggle with the same old habits year after year and have failed miserably. I see from this article that today can be different if I would put forth the effort. I am going to pray for God to reveal these things to me and work on them little by little. God Bless you Sheryl for sharing.
Hi, Gina! I KNOW WHAT YOU MEAN! Boy do I. If you’d like, we can pray for each other and even be accountable to each other regarding our progress. Let me know what you think about this. In fact, I’ve been wanting to re-start a ladies accountability group for this very reason.
Thank you for dropping by – and for your honest comment.
THANK YOU SO MUCH
You are so welcome, Melanie. Truth be told, God encouraged me too as I wrote this!
“ To be clear: I’m not talking about willpower. I’m talking about staying on task, trusting God – with expectation”
I pray the scriptures. One being to thank God that he is completing the good work he began in me. That always comforts me knowing that it isn’t me but God in his great power who is bringing about my transformation.
So true, Babara! Amen!!
Thank you for your very encouraging reminder.
Excellent post Sheryl!
Thank you, Janie. I need help in this area. I praise God for His inspiring encouragement each time He guides me as I write.
“As my hope grows, my anxiety shrinks.”
Isn’t that the truth! And God is the God of Hope!
He is indeed! I praise Him for being the God of all hope. He is my hope.
My resolution is to minimize watching secular channels and watch more faith-based TV or DVDs. The secular channels just won’t let up pushing their very ungodly agendas. Their sponsors spend lots of money to advertise their products and we simply do not have to conform to their standards.
I will pray for you FellowBeliever!
Amen!! I agree, FellowBeliever. We are influenced much more than we realize by what we watch and listen to.
And thank you, Barbara, for committing to pray for our friend, FellowBeliever. I hope we, the Body of Christ, will pray for each other to rise to a higher standard in 2021.
Thank you, Sheryl, for pointing out the difference between simple spoken resolutions and goals to pursue that resolve a perception of how we might be disappointing God.
And thank YOU, Sharron, for reading my devotion – and taking the time to leave a comment.
I hope 2021 will be a life-changing and heart-changing year for you!