I love a new year! It’s a time of hope, fresh starts, renewed focus and determination. But sadly, most new year’s resolutions are rooted in self. They’re all about how I will change my life with my new sense of self-sufficiency and inner strength. The truth is, you can’t handle 2019. I can’t handle 2019. We’re too weak and needy to handle it on our own.
That may sound defeatist, but it’s the path to real strength. “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:3) “Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about by weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me…for when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Corinthians 12:9-10) If you want a fantastic year, make these 3 resolutions:
1) I will be vulnerable. I will be honest with my weaknesses and failings. I will remove the mask I’ve been wearing. I will stop telling myself I’m “fine” when I’m not. I will stop acting like I can run my own life without help. I will stop pretending I can handle 2019, or even Friday, January 4th. I will get to the root of my hurts. I will grieve when I’m sad. I will not say prayers I think God wants to hear; I will share what’s in my heart. I will look to the Psalms to help me express my vulnerability.
“Save me, O God, for the waters have threatened my life. I have sunk in deep mire, and there is no foothold; I have come into deep waters, and a flood overflows me. I am weary with my crying; my throat is parched; my eyes fail while I wait for my God.” (Psalm 69:1-3)
2) I will lean fully on God. I will not take a single step without stepping before God in prayer. I will not make a single decision without seeking God’s wisdom. I won’t choose my own solutions over God’s. When I’m in need, I won’t try to “suck it up” or “get over it” or “pull myself together.” Instead, I’ll give God my burdens because He cares enough to carry them (1 Peter 5:7). I will not try to beat sin by my own will power. Instead, I will beg God daily for a new will.
“My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” (Psalm 73:26).
3) I will lean fully on God’s people. I will stop isolating myself. I will stop hiding my life behind busy-ness. I will put people before privacy. I will stop believing Satan’s lie that I don’t need anyone and they don’t need me. I will stop coming in late and rushing out the door at worship services just to avoid talking to people. I will let myself depend on people and let people depend on me.
“Be devoted to one another in brotherly love.” (Romans 12:10).
True strength and victory in 2019 starts by admitting you can’t handle it. By admitting you are in need.
Here’s a link to a wonderful song to start 2019 with called “I am in Need.”