But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Matthew 6:33 ESV
While most of us make them every year, New Year’s resolutions have a terribly low success rate. Could it be that we fail because we have misguided goals for ourselves? Or, are we concerned too much with the physical results?
Even though we’re just over a week into the New Year, some of you may have already given up on one or more of your resolutions. Others of you may be still trying to better yourself through dieting, exercise or more, but regretting your decision.
But what if we told you that you can make this the best year of your life? Hint: it just won’t happen through extra trips to the gym, or by trying out the new fad diet. Nothing is inherently wrong with these pursuits, but it is important to keep them from becoming idols. Strive to use your resolutions as ways to grow more dependent on God, because to make this the best year of your life, you have to make it your best year spiritually.
In Matthew 6:3–18, Jesus is in the middle of giving His Sermon on the Mount. In this passage, He speaks specifically of giving, prayer and fasting. Not just that we should do these things, but that He expects us to.
Verse 3: “But when you give…”
Verse 5: “And when you pray…”
Verse 16: “And when you fast…”
Later on, in verse 33, Jesus says, “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”
So, how can we have the best year spiritually? Seek first the kingdom of God.
And how do we do that?
We give to the needy, so as not to be overcome with greed and envy.
We pray, exercising our dependence on God and our desire to be in relationship with Him.
And we fast, saying no to earthly things and saying yes to God.
The practice of all these disciplines of the Christian life will help motivate you to stick with your resolutions when you want to quit, and—most important—help you grow spiritually.