Whenever January rolls around, a lot of us are thinking of the many ways we want to improve for the new year. That might be getting in more steps, drinking more water, spending more time in the Word.
In 2021, nearly 80% of people abandon their New Year’s resolutions by February according to Forbes. That’s less than 60 days of attempting a new habit (or working to break a bad one). If you back the calendar up, more than 75% stay on track the first week of January, and after a month of new goals, only 64% are still on track.
Those numbers aren’t very encouraging. But you know what is? We believe in a God who says his mercies are new every morning. His gift of grace washes over us every day. God doesn’t pour out his love on us based on our performance.
While creating motivating goals and implementing new habits are a healthy way for us to continue to grow while we’re here on Earth, the Word reminds us our salvation doesn’t depend on our works.
“For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.” – Ephesians 2:8-9
I know for me, this takes the pressure off. It’s easy to feel the weight to be the best Christian you can be and to do all the things to check off that perfectionism list. But, in the end, God loves me (and you) for who he created us to be – his children.
“So then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy.” – Romans 9:16
While we’re just two days into January, your hope and motivation might still be riding the adrenaline of a new year. But remember where your worth comes from on the days it’s a little bit harder to reach those goals. Ask for God to give you the strength and wisdom to chase after the goals he has for you.
Let 2023 be the year we chase after God’s dreams for us rather than the ones we feel we’re supposed to have.
Written by Emily Ahrens, director of digital communications for Buckner International.