New Year- Old Failures?

Firecrackers popped loudly just outside the window as Kathryn glanced from the blank piece of paper in her hand to the clock on the nightstand. 11:38 PM. Good, she thought, I still have time to figure out my New Year's resolutions before midnight. I can't believe I forgot all about it until now! She grabbed a pen from her desk, sat down on her bed, and began to write. Fifteen minutes later, she was reading over her list of eight resolutions, neatly penned in black ink. No erasing any this year, she thought, turning to put the paper away in a drawer for safekeeping. I won't have to anyway. I'm so glad I read that article the last week about making better New Year's resolutions. I've never been able to keep any of mine from any year so far. It's nice to know that this year will be a breeze in keeping my resolutions, since I made them so easy and attainable. She glanced down at the clock and realized it was now two minutes to midnight. As she started a countdown, Kathryn was filled with a sense of hope for the coming year. It was going to be great! The fireworks outside reached a grand finale of noise, and the clock showed the bold red letters of 12:00 as Kathryn ripped the old calendar off the wall and replaced it with her brand new one, with January 1 circled in red . It was going to be a great year!


Rrriiiipp. Rriiiipp. Clang! A ball of wadded up paper bounced off the side of the metal trash can as Kathryn angrily threw yet another paper wad at it. With a sigh of frustration, she bent down to gather up the paper balls scattered across the floor and deposit them in the trash can. Why does it have to be this hard?, she fumed inwardly as she worked. Why? My resolutions were the easiest ones ever- so why ave I failed yet again? And so soon! I haven't even done one of them yet, and it's just too late to start now. The last of the paper wads landed safely in the trash can, and Kathryn turned to survey her tear-stained face in the mirror. Swiping a damp cloth over her eyes, she walked over to her desk and pulled out a fresh sheet of paper. I'm going to make a new list, she mused. This time, it'll be different. It simply has to - it would be so embarrassing to say I have up on my resolutions so soon! She scanned her desktop for a pencil, and, failing to locate one, turned to go downstairs to find one. The door caught the breeze from the wide-open window and slammed shut behind her, making the calendar tacked to the wall flutter in the breeze. The date circled was January 9.

New Year's always brings with it a whole bunch of things- new dreams, new goals, new plans- and sometimes, old failures.
For a lot of people, New Year's is a time to virtually "start over" in certain areas of their life. They make plans, goals, and resolutions for what they'll do and when in order to "reset" this area they want to change. Then they get two months- or a week- into the New Year, and just quit, like Kathryn in the story above. Why?
It could be for any number of reasons. They could have failed to plan properly to accomplish what they wanted. They could have failed to set realistic goals for themselves. They could have just been lazy. But failing New Year's resolutions isn't the point of this post. Not as all.
Rather, it's about why we -as Christians- should set goals, and why we can succeed with them, no matter what they are. 1 Timothy 4:7-8 explains:

 Have nothing to do with irreverent, silly myths. Rather train yourself for godliness;  for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come. (1 Timothy 4:7-8, ESV)

Interesting, isn't it? I think this verse is very applicable to setting goals in a Christian's life.  It's essentially saying that while bodily (earthly) goals and ambitions aren't bad (in fact, they are of some good value in our lives), training for godliness (aiming our goals for higher things) is even better- becuase they help us both in this temporal life and in our eternal life!
When we're at the end of our life, it really isn't going to matter if we were able to keep 1 or 4 or 10 of our 2017 resolutions to exercise every day, or lose 10 pounds, or read more books, or take more vitamins. Of course, those things are all good and important. But it will matter much more if we were able to study God's Word every day, or pray more often, or develop another spiritual discipline, Those will have eternal value!
I'm not knocking setting "earthly" goals for ourselves Not at all! I think it's a wonderful thing to do, and we should be wanting to make good changes in our lives. But it's so much more important to remember why we're even bothering to achieve these goals.

I think that this verse from 1 Corinthians sums it up perfectly:

So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. (I Corinthians 10:31, ESV) 

 If we're doing everything for the glory of God, guess what?  Whatever we're doing will be honoring to Him. And since our purpose in life is to bring honor and glory to God, that's definitely not a failure. That's the best success ever! Whether we're aiming to eating healthier, or pray more often, or or read more books, or serve others more, if we're doing for the glory of God, we're succeeding in fulfilling the best goal we can ever set- to honor our Lord in everything we do. 

What are your thoughts on New Year's resolutions?   What do you think of 1 Timothy 4:7-8 in relation to setting goals?


  1. This is beautiful, Emily! I'm pretty new here, and I love your posts <3

    I've definitely felt like Kathryn before. When we make resolutions that bring us or others closer to God, I have found that they work out much better!

    Happy New Year (sort of late :P)

    - audrey caylin

    1. Thank you Audrey! And thanks so much for following my blog- I'm so glad you're enjoying the posts! <3

      Yes, that's absolutely true. Goals that bring us closer to God are always good!

      Thanks you! :)

  2. You did a great job of writing this!! I agree with you goals to glorify God are the best goals!!

  3. This was a great post, Emily! I think that 1 Timothy 4:7-8 fits along very well with this topic! As a family, at New Years, we tried this year, seeing how we could focus on goals that would honor God more than rather more earthly goals such as exercise, doing a project, etc. Those things are great but it's more rewarding to focus on things that will truly matter in eternity. And sometimes goals don't seem to be met, just as Kathryn in your story, but we need to make sure that our goals are really things that are important, and then also be intentionally diligent at accomplishing our goals. I also really love I Corinthians 10:31 too. :)
    Great post. :)

    1. Thank you Josiah!
      I love your family's idea- goals that honor God and have lasting importance are much more better to focus time and energy on than some other things.

      Thanks for your comment!

  4. Beautiful post! And so true :)

    New follower. I love your blog!
    Amy @ A Magical World Of Words

    1. Thank you! And thanks so much for the follow- I'm so glad you stopped by! ♥

  5. Very true :) thanks for sharing!


    1. Thank you Ellie! You are always so sweet. <3

  6. Awesome post! And very true. I love 1 Timothy 4:7-8, and I really like the way you applied it to New Years Resolutions.
    Great job!
    Jewels <3

    1. Thank you, Jewels! I really like how 1 Timothy 4:7-8 fits with making resolutions as well. :)

      Thanks for reading!


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