Spiritually Rotated New Year’s Resolutions
This week, we're featuring a series of blog articles that all relate to the New Year — new beginnings, fresh starts. Today's article was originally published on Jan. 2, 2013.
I am not a mechanic. So when I took my car to the automobile shop to get new tires, I assumed they would do everything correctly. But my father is a fantastic mechanic, and he came with me to get new tires because he assumes there’s a good chance the mechanics’ work won’t be up to his standards.
So when my car was finished in the shop, it was time for the real inspection to begin. As Dad walked around my Honda to check the new tires, he immediately pointed to the front left tire and said, “That was put on backwards,” and then he pointed to the back left tire and said, “That’s not balanced correctly.” So the mechanics got back to work and fixed their errors.
I wouldn’t know how to tell if a tire was properly balanced. And honestly, is it really that big of a problem if the tire isn’t facing the right direction? It seems like the tires would work the same way whether they roll forward or backwards. This is not so, Dad explained. Unbalanced and backward-facing tires wear differently over time, and that can cause many expensive problems with braking and traction. Eventually, it would make the car shake, and I would feel as if I were riding a horse instead of a set of wheels.
After every 5,000 miles, it’s time to balance the tires on a car. Similarly, every 365 days in our own lives, it’s time to balance and properly align our values. New Year's resolutions often include losing weight, seeking better employment, and buying a better car. And while those are fine goals, they are material goals that don’t necessarily include our spirituality.
As followers of Christ, we may resolve to fast and pray more often, to study the scriptures, to attend church more regularly, to be more patient, etc. And these goals are great aspirations as well, but are they personal enough for us? I’ve made the same resolutions year after year without success.
How do we make our resolutions have staying power this year? It’s time to have our spiritual tires rotated. And not just by anyone, but by the real mechanic of our righteousness, Jesus Christ. Just like tires that need to be balanced differently on every car, our soul needs to be rejuvenated regularly by an expert.
Psalm 51:10 states, “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.” Of our own, we can tweak and set goals and make changes, but without God’s expertise, we will surely be putting our tires on backwards. My dad knows best when it comes to mechanics, and that is why I only trust him to make sure my car is performing correctly. And my Heavenly Father knows best when it comes to my spiritual mechanics, which is why this year I’m planning to counsel with Him first before making my New Year’s resolutions.
This year, let's allow God to double-check our resolutions so that they are pleasing to Him. It’s important to pray for the wisdom to know which resolutions the Lord would like us to make. God knows our deepest desires, and He wants to help us balance our life choices, whether it be for our thoughts, our actions, or our personal struggles. If we include God in our New Year’s resolutions, then He will help us succeed.
Here are some questions to ask yourself while praying for your resolutions:
- Am I ready to accept God’s assistance in this goal?
- Can I ask a fellow brother or sister to help hold me accountable?
- Will I give God the glory when He helps me succeed?
Psalm 37:5-6 says, “Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and He shall bring it to pass. And He shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday.” May God bless you in this New Year!
This article has undergone ministry review and approval.