God and New Year's Resolutions

God and New Year's Resolutions

Each January, millions of people make their personal New Year’s resolutions.  This is a list of bad behavior that they intend to stop doing in the coming year.   While reading “God Is in the Manger” by Dietrich Bonhoeffer I was struck by the truth of a statement he made regarding the setting of resolutions. 

“They believe that a good intention already means a new beginning.  They believe that on their own they can make a new start whenever they want, but that is an evil illusion.  Only God can make a new beginning with people - whenever God pleases, but not people with God.  Therefore people cannot make a new beginning at all.  They can only pray for one.  Where people are on their own and live by their own devices, there is only the old, the past. Only where God is can there be a new beginning.  We cannot command God to grant it, we can only pray to God for it.  And we can pray only when we realize that we cannot do anything; that we have reached our limit.  That someone else must make that new beginning.”     Dietrich Bonhoeffer, quoted from “God Is in the Manger”  

For my entire Christian life, I may have left God completely out of my New Year’s resolutions.  I somehow had the idea that it is up to me to push through these changes on my own. 

What a blessing to stumble onto this wonderful insight in time to do things differently this year.  I’m not going to wait for January either;  I’m going to start asking God for a new beginning in my life right now! 

that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness. – Ephesians 4:22 - 24