Reluctant to Change
Last Sunday night I asked a group of friends if they had made New Year’s resolutions. Most people said that they had no plans to do anything different. Maybe I am an overachiever or something, but I was surprised to discover that I was one of only a few people that had made plans to improve in some areas this year.
New research by the Barna Group revealed that 41 percent of Americans are making New Year’s resolutions in 2011.
At the top of the resolution list is a concern for weight, diet and health, followed by money, debt and finances, and personal improvement (see chart below).
1. We tend to focus on personal gain. This seems to be the running theme in the majority of resolutions. It is interesting to note that there is almost no mention of serving others, improving marriages, or going “green.” Further, only 5 percent of Americans chose to make spiritual resolutions. Are we spiritually strong as a nation; do we merely not choose to do what it takes to improve in this area, or is there some other reason?
2. We are reluctant to make resolutions. Why is this? David Kinnaman, president of the Barna Group, observed, “Americans maintain a love-hate relationship with New Year’s resolutions: millions of people make them, but they rarely report success as a result.” Perhaps we have grown cynical about past failures. According to the research, 49 percent of all Americans reported “no change” to their past resolutions.
3. We need accountability. Most of the respondents indicated that they had no accountability or other support system to help them keep their resolutions. Are we too prideful to share our resolutions with our friends and ask for their help? Are we willing to hold other accountable? What can we do about that?
No matter what kind of life we have led in the past, God has given us all a second chance through the gift of grace—and he keeps on giving us chances. Now is the time to believe that God can radically change you. Don’t be content to stay the same. Bite the bullet, put your plans in God’s hands, and you will indeed change!