The new year can be a great opportunity to start fresh. Many of us take this time to set new goals or recommit to old ones we were unsuccessful at in the past. Whether we want to exercise more, lose weight, get organized, learn a new skill or hobby, spend more time with family and friends or quit a bad habit, we set out with the best intentions in mind, fully ready to make that change. But it doesn’t always work out how we hoped, does it?
In 2007, a British psychologist by the name of Richard Wiseman released a study on the effectiveness of New Year’s resolutions. He followed 3,000 people for a year and found that a full 88% of them failed to achieve the goals of their resolutions. Wiseman’s research confirmed what most of us already know — New Year’s resolutions aren’t a very effective way to implement change.
For the most part, we humans long to be free of our bad habits and unhealthy behaviors. When we decide to make a change at some point in the future, however, what we’re really saying is, “This isn’t who I am, but some day I’m going to be that person.” The problem is, we cannot fake who we are. We cannot become a different person just because the calendar changes.
If we really want to make a change, the Bible is the place to go. It speaks truthfully about the human condition and what we can (or cannot) do to change it. It doesn’t point us to some arbitrary day in the future. Rather, it speaks like this:
“Today, if you will hear His voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.” – Hebrews 3:15
In Christ, every day is a chance to start fresh, to be forgiven and to experience God’s love and grace. Each day is an opportunity to walk in newness of life.
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” – 2 Corinthians 5:17
If we truly want to improve our well-being, we must look to Christ to be changed.
“But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.” – 2 Corinthians 3:18
The power of Christ to transform our lives is experienced by connecting to His word daily. God’s word is “living”, meaning it speaks to our unique and individual circumstances as we go through them.
“For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” – Hebrews 4:12
The word of God is so intricately connected with Christ, that the Bible actually refers to Him as “The Word”.
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” – John 1:1
God’s word is spiritual food. We need to ingest this food daily to stay healthy and perform optimally. Jesus reinforced this concept in Matthew 6:11 when He prayed, “Give us this day our daily bread.” He went on to explain, in John 6:48, that “I am the bread of life.”
“He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God.” – Revelation 19:13
There’s no getting around it. We need to experience Jesus every day through the manifestation of His word. If you truly want to make a change, take up God’s word daily and see for yourself the power that it has to transform your life. The Psalms are a great place to start.
“Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good; Blessed is the man who trusts in Him!” – Psalm 34:8
Lord, help me to hear Your voice today. Keep me connected to Your word daily so that I can be transformed. Help me to be more and more like You. Amen.