New Year’s Resolutions
…or…Who is Faithful?
There’s something about this time of the year that causes us to reflect. Where the tradition of setting New Year’s resolutions came from, I know not. What I know is that we often set unrealistic goals, set off running, and then collapse a week or two into the new year. We may try again, but most of us (I would guess) put those resolutions aside until the Holidays wind down again and we face another new year.
I have always loathed resolutions, and I’ll tell you why: They are constant reminders of my failure, my faithlessness. In a faith that deals with convictions, promises, and covenants, I find that I am the worst of the keepers. Everything I see in this generation, in others–in broken promises, in broken relationships, in broken self-image, in broken faith, in broken everything–I see and despise all the more in myself. Why would I find any pleasure, any hope in holding resolutions upon myself that I know I cannot and will not uphold? I can’t. I don’t.
I am the most faithless person I’ve ever known.
The good news is what Paul wrote to Timothy (2Tim.2:11-13, NIV).
Here is a trustworthy saying:
If we died with him, we will also live with him;
if we endure, we will also reign with him.
If we disown him, he will also disown us;
if we are faithless, he remains faithful, for he cannot disown himself.
I find it fascinating that Paul adds these last words: “for he cannot disown himself.” Somehow, God’s faithfulness to me is as much (maybe more) about remaining faithful to His own character as it is about my need or my desire. It has everything to do with the Unchanging One. He remains faithful to me because it is in His character to be so–even when I am faithless.
What a relief!
So what does 2013 have in store for me? Do I not desire to change at all? Of course I do. And if I do change, let it be not because I somehow managed to become faithful after 32 years of being faithless, but rather, because He remains faithful, for He cannot disown Himself.