Broken Resolutions No More!

Chocolate Roll & Tape MeasureHave you ever made resolutions for the New Year, only to find that a couple weeks, or maybe even only a day into the new year, those resolutions have been broken?  Frustrating, isn’t it!  One response is: “I’ll never change so I might as well forget it!”  Another response is: “Oh well, I tried.  I’ll try again next year!”  The best response is: “Ok, I blew it just now, but I can start over – right now!”

What about you?  What is your response to broken resolutions?

While some resolutions are of a one-time nature (“I will have my friends over for a meal this month”),  a lot of resolutions hinge on changing habits.  Do I hear a groan?

I remember when I was baptized.  I had just turned 8 years old (yes, children DO know what it means to follow Jesus!).  Although I really did know that my actions wouldn’t change overnight, I came up out of the baptismal water with the firm resolution to never sin again.  I don’t have to tell you how THAT resolution turned out!  God changes our direction, saves us, washes away our sins, but He does not often change our habits overnight.

God saves us without any work on our part at all except our choice – that’s grace.  But He also is in the process of saving us from sin, from ourselves and the things that hurt us.  That takes BOTH our choice AND our cooperation of working out our salvation.  Here too, we find grace.

Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure,  Philippians 2:12-13.

We don’t even have the desire to change without God’s grace!  He creates that desire in us, then works in us “to do” it.  Grace again!

Many secular habit-changing ideas exist in the world, and most are very good.  Having determination, looking at the reward, knowing what triggers your objectionable behavior, and substituting an alternative behavior, all are great methods.

But the best place to use those methods is with God’s grace at work in our lives.  How do you do this?  Here are 7 steps:

1.    First, ask God to identify which habit(s)/behavior(s) He wants you to change now.  You may already know this.  If not, He’ll impress you.  One thing about God – He doesn’t usually ask us to change everything at once.  That would be overwhelming.  But He works by multiplication – He and you will change one thing, and then you’ll find that others have been changed, too – that’s grace!
2.    Ask Him for the desire and determination to change this habit.
3.    Talk with Him every single day about this habit.  Morning is best.  Keep letting Him provide the desire to change.
Bible4.    Focus on His Word.  Ask Him for Scripture that you can take with you throughout each day.  Meditate on this Scripture.  Put it into your life.
5.    When you are tempted with your old behavior, run to the security of God.  Repeat your Scripture, talk to God, put your mental focus on Him until the temptation subsides.  This step is where the battle gets strongest.
6.    Keep repeating this sequence and the old desire and habit will die a natural death.
7.    And one more thing:  If you “blow it,” go back to God and begin again!  NEVER give up!

So if you find that some of your resolutions have already been broken at the start of this new year, don’t lose hope!  God wants abundant life for you even more than you want for yourself, and His grace will keep you on track until you reach the finish line.  Go with God!

 

If you find you need someone to help you walk this path, I can provide personal spiritual coaching.  Email me at:  pastorsherry@reachforthesummit.org.

 

 

About Pastor Sherry

Hi, I'm Pastor Sherry! I'm a Ministry and Spiritual Life Coach, and am committed to helping you Reach For The Summit of your relationship with God. This includes developing or transforming your personal devotional life as well as breaking through barriers such as Unloving, Fear, Bitterness, that are preventing you from the kind of connection with God that you seek. I'd love to connect with you on Facebook (Pastor Sherry, Reach For The Summit), LinkedIn (Pastor Sherry), and Twitter (PastorSherry1). To receive my monthly newsletter, please sign in to the opt-in box at the top of this page!
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18 Responses to Broken Resolutions No More!

  1. Helen Murray says:

    Thankyou for this. Your cake and tape-measure picture at the top was all it took to convict me! Another year and the resolve is already slipping. Interestingly, as I read this, a friend sent me a text asking me if I wanted to join her at a diet club starting tonight… I have tried everything (almost) and nothing has worked. Diets and plans and clubs will never help me until I can sort out what’s in my head.
    Time to ask Him about it I think. And to take my hands away from my ears so that I might hear what He has to say.
    Thankyou for these wise and gentle words, Sherry.
    Helen Murray recently posted..Answers that nobody asked for

    • The cake and tape-measure was for me :) I’m the original junk food junkie. But I know my body is the temple of God and greatly desire to eat healthy, as do you, I see. Never too late to begin! Actually, when I treat this food thing as a spiritual battle, it not only makes more sense, but gives me tools to deal with it. We’re on a journey, and God walks beside us to make sure we finish well — that’s good news!

  2. Mel Thompson says:

    Someone once said, People need revelation first and the resolution will take its course. I think that’s the wording. STEP #4 in the 7 methods you suggested is where that REVELATION takes place in the spirit man. “Focus on God’s Word”. Meditate and put in your life in obedience. Will put Sherry. And “meditate” means to keep your focus on the Word until it speaks to you. If you don’t hear anything yet–without revelation–keep reading until it does.

  3. You actually give me some reason to be more grateful in your blog post! Thanks for your good effort here! Glad to see your latest post Pastor!

  4. Amy Hagerup says:

    This was really good, Pastor Sherry. I liked that you gave the seven steps too – so practical to help us change our bad habits. And yes, we shouldn’t give up either or be down on ourselves. Like Mel, I love the injunction to focus on the Word too. And I like how you said, “in the morning is best!” So true. blessings, Amy
    Amy Hagerup recently posted..Living a Spiritual Life: Finishing Well

    • Hi Amy, our human and programmed tendency is to forget what we can’t do easily. But our spiritual life is a journey and sometimes a battle — against our own self! God is good to give us so many chances and to pick us up each time we fall.

  5. I have found that it is better to focus on God and let Him lead me through the circumstance that I want to change.
    Cecelia Lester recently posted..“God Blesses His Children”

  6. Eva says:

    Pastor Sherry this was wonderful. I liked how you said you were never going to sin again. So many things we try to control on our own and you brought this out so nice. the fact that it is Gods grace that has saved us, and HIS WORD and HOLY SPIRIT is what leads us to do what is right in his eyes. How foolish I have been, the times I thought I was able to accomplish Gods will in my OWN strength. He gives us the strength and the free will to walk with him (or not). thank you for the 7 steps, makes such good sense.
    Eva recently posted..‘EVER NEED AN ENCOURAGING WORD?”

    • Hi Eva, yes, we humans do like to control everything! I’m certainly one who likes to try! But God’s job is teaching us that we can’t, no matter how hard we try or how much we know. Remembering to depend on God is actually the first step, and a hard one. But well worth it. Thanks for sharing, Eva!

  7. Kevin Ashwe says:

    I have discovered that self discipline is good but not good enough to help us break bad habbits but the grace of God.

    • Hi Kevin, yes, you’re absolutely right! Breaking bad habits does require our self-discipline, but that’s not what breaks the bad habit. God does that as we put our focus on Him, and as we turn to Him when tempted. So glad you commented!

  8. LOL, I think I need to get to grips with steps 4 and 5!!!

  9. This year I chose one word to meditate on and so far it is really making a difference as just putting into practise eliminates the parts of me I would like to change. The word I sensed the Lord give me is “Receive”. As I receive His fullness I empty out me!

    • I like that idea, Jeannie. Recently I’ve encountered it from someone else, as well. God works with each of us in such unique ways — it’s awesome! I’m looking forward to how God works in you this year.




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