Proverbs 17:27 A man of knowledge restrains his words, and a man of understanding maintains a calm spirit.
I was reading that the average length of time a new year’s resolution is honoured and stuck with, ends around January 17th. That is it. The full ability of man within his own strength is a whole seventeen days of fortitude, gut-wrenching willpower, and bravado to accomplish a resolution that would have brought satisfaction and healthy changes to one’s life. Ha! It would be funny if it were not so pathetic, but there it is. It would have been better to not have made the resolution at all because the condemnation of failure only adds to the depression the person feels and lives with already. The sense of failure is right in their face, accusing them of having no resolve to do anything.
The problem with resolutions is that the entire focus of the resolution is based on what is believed to be wrong or negative in a person’s life. Lose weight, get in shape, stop eating the whole box of chocolates, stop watching so much trash television, stop polishing off the whole tub of ice cream and read more than just memes and scandal tabloids. The list is endless of what people perceive to be wrong with themselves, and it seems that is all they can focus on. Yet, there seems to be a segment of society that just gets things done the moment they set their hearts to it. I believe they have found the secret to what the Lord was saying when He said, “Let your yes, be yes, and let your no, be no because everything else is just frothy embellishment.” Matt. 5:37 Just say a simple, ‘Yes, I will,’ or ‘No, I won’t.’ Anything beyond this is from the evil one.
As the scripture says, all other elaboration and exaggerations beyond a plain yes or no are promoted by the evil one. In other words, talk is cheap, and Satan will help you spit out words with no intention of following up on them. Spouting off resolutions with no resolve to do them is child’s play. To be determined is a choice to become disciplined. Some people say they have no motivation to be disciplined. They seem to think that people who get things done are in a constant state of motivation. This is not so, they are disciplined to do what they had been motivated for in the first place, then, they became determined to go forward. They do what is on their heart to do, rather than just talk about it. Prov. 17:27 A man of knowledge restrains his words, and a man of understanding maintains a calm spirit.
As I once said, when asked – what motivates you? “Motivation might help you get started, but discipline keeps you going. Discipline helps you overcome failure because failure teaches what needs to be done and what resolve has to be applied. You cannot stay continually motivated, but you can work on being continuously disciplined. Stay disciplined and motivation will inspire you to see the rewards that will come.” We need the Lord’s help to stay disciplined because without purpose and directions we become adrift like a ship with no rudder being tossed here and there going nowhere. Prov. 29:18a Where there is no vision, the people perish.
We need God’s direction to do what He has sown within our hearts. Don’t be afraid to ask God for the ability, strength, and fortitude to do what is in your heart to do. If God gives you the vision, then He will also give you the resolve and strength to accomplish the work. When we know God has sent us forth, we can also rely on His empowering grace to get the job done. Yes, there may be some great trials and tribulations, but the Lord’s resolve within our hearts will wake up the courage needed for the mission. Are there possibilities of failure? Of course there is, but we will learn from the experience. As often is said, “The greatest fear is the fear of failure,” and this stops people from trying. What can we ever learn if we do not learn to pick ourselves up after messing up?
We see this very thing taking place when Peter and the Apostles were threatened and commanded to stop preaching Christ. It looked like they had failed at what they were supposed to do. However, they asked God for strength to accomplish what God had put within them. Acts. 4:29 And now, Lord, consider their threats, and grant that your servants may speak your word with all boldness. They might not have had all the answers to what God was leading them into, but there was some resolve in their character to do what God had asked them to do.
If we are going to make declarations and resolutions of faith, then let our characters be filled with the resolve to just say yes and no at the time of decision. For whatever reason we have been held back in the past, our resolution and determination for this year should be to break through into victory with the grace of the Lord leading the way. Let us be courageous with the vision God has given us. Say, “Yes Lord, with you, I can do it!” Heb. 12:1b And let us run with endurance the race that is set before us. Blessings.
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