No More New Year’s Resolutions!

 

Spoiler Alert!

New Year’s Resolutions (mostly) Don’t Work!!!

 

Gasp!

Sad, but true.

 

According to the Statistic Brain Research Institute, of the people who make resolutions, 92% fail to succeed in achieving their resolution. A mere 8% are successful in achieving what they wanted.

Most New Year’s Resolutions are merely wish lists, vague desires, “wouldn’t-it-be-great-ifs”:

  • I could lose weight?
  • I could exercise more?
  • I could earn more money?
  • I could be a better person in my relationships?

 

Some resolutions are more like goals:

  • I’ll lose x pounds in x
  • I’ll exercise x minutes x times a week.
  • I’ll make x sales calls every day.
  • I’ll post my resume and respond to x job postings every day.

 

Even the apostle Paul had a problem with resolving to change his behavior.

15 For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.

19 For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing.                    Romans 7:15-19 ESV

 

Transformation by willpower alone is hard.

Transformation by setting and reaching goals is only as good as your motivation.

 

What’s your motivation?

 

Motivation can be extrinsic or intrinsic.

Extrinsic motivation is based on external desired outcomes.

  • Lose weight: be healthier, look better, clothes fit
  • Exercise: health, fitness, attractive body
  • More money: buy more things, bigger house, expensive car, vacations, etc.

 

Intrinsic motivation is based on internal physical, mental, or spiritual positive reinforcement.

  • Eating anything you want because you’ve changed what you want to eat.
  • Exercising because it makes your body feel good, making “you” feel good.
  • Having “enough” money; but increased income would provide more to give away.

 

Usually intrinsic motivation sustains behavioral changes better than extrinsic motivation. Having an internal reason to make different choices usually is more effective at producing a more lasting transformation, than outside, (self-)imposed, “ought-to” reasons.

Nevertheless, regular re-orientation can help keep motivation high.

  1. Set goal.
  2. Plan.
  3. Take action.
  4. Evaluate.
  5. Tweak plan.
  6. Take new action.
  7. Re-evaluate.
  8. Repeat.

 

But, this process works only to a certain extent. Willpower as a method of behavior modification is not easy; nor is it dependable.

Also, setting and reaching goals is hard by yourself. That’s why so many people belong to support and accountability groups.

 

But?

What if you didn’t have to do it alone?

What if you had a personal Encourager?

What if you had supernatural power to transform you from the inside out?

 

What if you chose Restoration, not Resolution?

 

What if, instead, you chose to:

  • Restore your ideal weight, not Resolve to lose x number of pounds?
  • Restore your cardio-vascular health and fitness, not Resolve to exercise more?
  • Restore and build up relationships, not Resolve to be a better person, parent, friend?

 

The way to Restoration is through Receiving, Remembrance, and Reconciliation.

  • Receiving the Holy Spirit
  • Remembering the faithfulness of God.
  • Reconciling in relationship with God, humans, and yourself.

 

God the Father sends God the Spirit to Believers

 

38 And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.                      Acts 2:38 ESV

 

During His last meal with His disciples, Yeshua promised them “a Helper.”

This Helper would be with them and in them.

16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, 17 even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.                   John 14:16, 17 ESV

 

By the power of the in-dwelling Spirit, we can have Life in The Spirit.

5 Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit                 John 3:5-6 ESV

25 If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.                       Galatians 5:25 ESV

 

6 For this is why the gospel was preached even to those who are dead, that though judged in the flesh the way people are, they might live in the spirit the way God does.                1 Peter 4:6 ESV

 

 

Receiving

 

  1. Do you know the Holy Spirit? Or do you merely know about Him?

The Greek language differentiates, nuances, the concept of know by having several words for know, knowledge:

 

  • There’s knowledge gained through personal, first-hand experience:

gnṓsis 1108 (from ginṓskō1097) – functional (“working”) knowledge gleaned from first-hand (personal) experience, connecting theory to application; “application-knowledge,” gained in (by) a direct relationship.                http://biblehub.com/greek/1108.htm

 

ginṓskō 1097 – properly, to know, especially through personal experience (first-hand acquaintance).                       http://biblehub.com/greek/1097.htm

 

epiginóskó 1921 (from epí1909 “on, fitting” which intensifies ginṓskō 1097know through personal relationship”) – properly, apt, experiential knowingthrough direct relationship.                   http://biblehub.com/greek/1921.htm

 

12 For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know (ginṓskō 1097) in part; then I shall know (epiginóskó 1921) fully, even as I have been fully known (epiginóskó 1921).             1 Corinthians 13:12 ESV

 

  • There’s knowledge gained through physical perception:

 

eídō (oida) 1492 – properly, to see with physical eyes …  (“seeing that becomes knowing“)                        http://biblehub.com/greek/1492.htm

 

“oida1492a; or eido, or eideo1492 to perceive, know intuitively as contr. with ginosko1097, to know experientially. Also to perceive or know with the outward senses, to see, to perceive with the eyes of the mind, understand; to see, experience; be acquainted with; esteem; acknowledge or own”

Hebrew Greek Keyword Study Bible p 1828

 

55 But you have not known (ginṓskō 1097) him. I know (eídō 1492) him. If I were to say that I do not know (eídō 1492) him, I would be a liar like you, but I do know (eídō 1492) him and I keep his word.                     John 8:55 ESV

 

 

  1. Do you know you have received the Holy Spirit?

38 And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.                      Acts 2:38 ESV

 

 

  1. Do you know that the Holy Spirit is with you, is in you?

15 “If you love me, you will keep my commandments. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, 17 even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.                 John 14:15-17 ESV

 

  1. Have you, yourself, had a personal experience of the Holy Spirit?

13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.               Romans 15:13 ESV

 

  1. If not, ask the in-dwelling Spirit to make Himself known to you. But then, you have to listen!

10 “Be still, and know (yada3045) that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!”                  Psalm 46:10 ESV

 

yada3045 Hebrew: to know (properly, to ascertain by seeing); used in a great variety of senses, figuratively, literally, euphemistically and inferentially (including observation, care, recognition; and causatively, instruction, designation, punishment, etc.)

http://biblehub.com/hebrew/3045.htm

 

  1. Do you live by the Spirit?

25 If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.                       Galatians 5:25 ESV

 

If you do, you are never alone.

 

After Receiving, comes Remembrance and Reconciliation.

 

More about that

… next time.

 

Blessings,

 

 

TLThomas

 

It’s ok to doubt, if you check it out!

Be a Berean!

 

10The brothers immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea, and when they arrived they went into the Jewish synagogue. 11 Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.                   Acts 17:10, 11 ESV

 

Please join me in this journey of discovery.

  • Share this blog with others, whether they are doubting, or not.
  • Take what I say and CHECK IT OUT FOR YOURSELF!

 

See also:

 

No More New Year’s Resolutions! – Part 2

No More New Year’s Resolutions! – Part 3