God’s Mercy has been marveled at for centuries. Lamentations 3:22-23 says that “the steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning.”
1. A formal expression of opinion or intention made, usually after voting, by a formal organization, a legislature, a club, or other group. Compare concurrent resolution, joint resolution.
2. A resolve or determination: to make a firm resolution to do something.
3. The act of resolving or determining upon an action or course of action, method, procedure, etc.
4. The mental state or quality of being resolved or resolute; firmness of purpose.
I appreciate a good starting point. For example, I never start a healthy eating plan on a Wednesday. Or Thursday. Or any other day other than Monday. It just makes sense to wait until after the weekend. Why set myself up for failure by beginning on Burrito Day (Saturday) or Bagel Day (Sunday)?
No, Monday is the best day to start, well, anything, really. And if Monday comes and goes, and you weren’t feeling strong enough to pass up the plate of cookies at the book club, then you sure as heck can’t be expected to start fresh on Tuesday. Nobody starts fresh on a Tuesday. Wednesday through Friday are also out of the question. It’s Monday, or it’s never.
Heck, if I begin a Monday with a bowl of Captain Crunch instead of a bran muffin and egg whites, I tell myself that I may as well finish up the rest of the day eating donuts and Hot Pockets, since the whole day has surely been tainted. And then, of course, the rest of the week is out, too.
Hedonism until Monday. Again.
So you see why I don’t do New Year’s resolutions. I know myself too well. I know that I rarely do the things I want to do, but the things I don’t want to do – well, those are my favorite. I know that my heart is deceitful and that I am so easily led astray. I know myself.
Of course, many people set goals for themselves and then meet them. Determination matched with mental fortitude can often take you over the finish line in time to pick up that blue ribbon. I’ve even accomplished a few goals, myself (maybe even on a Thursday). But in general, I tend to think that people rely too much on their Inner Warrior and not enough on the Lord of Hosts.
The other day, one of my daughters made some really good resolutions. She wants to do better at keeping her room clean, and she wants to read her bible and do her devotions everyday. What worthy goals! I want the same things for myself.
As I thought about it, I came to the conclusion that I want more, though. More for her, and more for me.
I slip easily into the mindset of “doing the right thing”. I know how to follow the rules, but until a few years ago, I only did it because it was the right thing to do, not because I loved God and wanted to express that love through my obedience. And let’s be honest, I wasn’t even really that great at following the rules. Knowing what to do isn’t at all the same thing as actually doing it.
Instead of resolving to read my bible more, or determining to share my faith more consistently, or any other thing that would facilitate my need to reach a moral bar, I just want to love the Lord my God with all my heart and with all my soul and with all my strength, and I want to love my neighbor as myself. When I’m doing that, I find that I am no longer in need of a massive life overhaul. His transforming power works to change my desires to match more closely with His.
I know I will fail. I aim to set my face like flint, but I acknowledge that I am woefully weak. Still, this brings me great joy, because His grace is sufficient for me, and his power is made perfect in my weakness. So I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. I know that when I am weak, He is strong.
I am reminded that it’s only by His strength and only because of what He did that I am ever able to do any good thing. It really isn’t about me or my Inner Warrior. It’s about the cross, and it’s about grace.
The new year is a great time to make a fresh start, but I am thankful that His mercies are new every morning, all year ’round. Every morning – not just Mondays.