A new year has begun—2014. The opportunity for a new start, a change in attitude, overcome an addiction, and, of course, like most of us, lose weight. However, studies show that only 8% of people actually stick to their new year’s resolutions.1 We start out pumped January 1, but by January 2 we are back to our old ways and habits, waiting until the next year to kick off a new resolution. What we fail to realize is that change takes time. When the clock strikes midnight, we aren’t magically transformed into a new person right then and there.
For example, when it comes to “quick-fix” diets, many times they don’t fix the “staying fit” part. They are designed for you to rapidly lose weight, by eating carrots until you turn orange and exercising until you pass out, but the diet forgets the one missing ingredient: maintaining the weight you feverishly lost. It takes time and persistence to manage a healthy weight.
What if this year, instead of making our expected resolutions, we make a bolder, lasting one: a “spiritual lifestyle resolution”? The definition of lifestyle is “a way of life or style of living that reflects the attitudes and values of a person” 2 This resolution is for long-term warriors; those who persevere, although giving up could be so much easier (Heb. 12:1).
“Christian lifestyle depends on, fosters, safeguards, and restores the image of God in humans. When that image is reflected in our nature, our actions will mirror our character just as the fruit corresponds to the tree (Matt. 12:33, 35) and God’s image becomes increasingly sharper.” 3
This lifestyle is designed to change our lives, not just our year. More than anything in the world, living for God and choosing Him as our Lord and Savior is the most important ongoing decision we can make. Yes, dedicating the year to pursue a Master’s is superb, but holding onto the Master is sovereign!
“Jesus is the supreme example of a life in God’s presence and in constant communion with Him.”4 This new year, and for the rest of our lives, may we resolve to live like Jesus lived. Let us take hold of a “spiritually-connected to God” lifestyle, not a quick-fix one that fluctuates. May we not be the type of Christians who float in His presence for a while, then quickly sink to bottom of the ocean when we feel we need Him no longer. Instead, let’s decide, once and for all, to make a firm decision to fully live for God and believe that He will walk with us—not just this year, but until the day we peacefully sit by His side admiring the Sea of Glass together.
1. Forbes.com, http://www.forbes.com/sites/dandiamond/2013/01/01/just-8-of-people-achieve-their-new-years-resolutions-heres-how-they-did-it/ (accessed December 17, 2013).
2. Definition of “Lifestyle,” http://www.thefreedictionary.com/lifestyle (accessed December 17, 2013).
3. Handbook of Seventh-day Adventist Theology, vol. 12, p. 678.
4. Ibid., p. 687.