At the beginning of the year, we like to give ourselves goals or at least a plan to follow. However, we must be on our guard when we set our objectives to make sure not to fall into one of the (rather devious) pitfalls of the enemy.
The word “resolution” is a bit scary because we know that most of the time we will not complete them. In fact, many people jokingly say, “My resolution is not to make a resolution! “. But deep inside, after the holidays, we all have a small desire for renewal. Even if we only want to return to our routine, we all intend to return to a routine that works and is effective.
A vast majority of people will decide to embark on a new diet or will subscribe to a gym. Others will decide to follow the advice of a well-known person who has some form of success in an area. Even singles are not immune to this new motivation. “It was my last single Christmas, I’m going to change things this year!” After such a statement, many then examine the couples around them and choose a pattern to follow. But is this the right way to go?Wanting the same success as another person is legitimate, and can even be a positive source of inspiration. But imitating the same methods to get there makes us fall into a sin: envy. “Let us not become boastful, challenging one another, envying one another.” (Gal 5.26 NASB)
God created us all different. Of course, we have some similarities, but we are not robots. What someone has done to achieve their goals may not work for you at all. When we decide to imitate another person to have what they have, our motivation is envy. According to the Bible, this is a sin. “For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed the evil thoughts, fornications, thefts, murders, adulteries, deeds of coveting and wickedness, as well as deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride and foolishness.” (Mark 7.21-22 NASB)
Why is it a sin? Because Jesus is the only way (John 14: 6). The Holy Spirit wants to be the only source of influence in your life, even in areas that seem less spiritual. So you want to lose weight. That’s good … but why? To be the same size as this or that person? You want to make more money. That’s good … but why? To have the same lifestyle as this or that other person? “Do not let your heart envy sinners, but live in the fear of the Lord always.” (Proverbs 23.17 NASB)
“Okay, what if I want to imitate a Christian personality?” That’s a little better, of course. Paul said to the early disciples: “Brethren, join in following my example, and observe those who walk according to the pattern you have in us.” (Philippians 3:27 NASB) But what he desired was for people to imitate his walk with Christ, because he himself imitated Christ. “Be imitators of me, just as I also am of Christ.” (1 Corinthians 11.1 NASB) In short, again, the apostle was saying here to follow Christ.
Take your desires for 2018 and place them before God. You can also point out to God who has had the success you want to reach and ask Him what He thinks of it. Perhaps God will tell you that the goal is good, but that He has another way of getting you there. Perhaps God will tell you that it is a good goal, but in your case, you should pursue another goal before that one. God knows your heart, your desires, and your aspirations; He also knows what you don’t like about your person or your personal financial or social situation. But the good news is that He also knows exactly what you need to do to get to your destination. It may be totally different from everyone else. He is still the Creator, so He can still create ways where there were none. Follow him! “Behold, I will do something new, now it will spring forth; will you not be aware of it? I will even make a roadway in the wilderness, rivers in the desert.” (Isaiah 43.19 NASB)