Each January, millions of us make resolutions. We examine ourselves and our lives and decide what needs to be improved. The idea is that a resolution is an optimistic way to approach each new year, but in reality, it’s the perfect set-up for failure.

Studies have shown that fewer than 20 percent of New Year’s resolutions are followed through, and then for only a limited time. Why? Because rarely do resolutions really get to the root of dissatisfaction – self-judgement and loathing.

This year, as I sat down to draw up the list of things about myself that need to change, God asked me, “Who told you that you were naked?” I wondered, what’s that supposed to mean? So, sounding familiar, I found the story behind it in The Book of Genesis, chapters 2 and 3. In Gen 2:25 Adam and his wife were both naked in paradise with God, and they felt no shame. But along comes the serpent and gets them to doubt God and only one chapter later Adam is saying, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.” God never pronounced shame on Adam and Eve for being naked, but once they doubted God, they doubted what He thought about them.

It dawned on me, that my list of faults and self-loathing was coming from lies, not from the Truth of who God says I am. I am His child (1 John 3:1), made in His image (Gen 1:26), chosen to be holy and blameless in His sight (Eph. 1:4), complete in Him (Col 2:10). His power is at work in me (Eph 3:20). I was created to do good works (Eph 2:10). He works things together for my good (Rom 8:28). He loves me (1 John 4:19). He gives me the strength I need for all things (Phil 4:13).

So, this year, instead of being naked, ashamed and guilty before God, stuck in my own self-loathing, my resolution is to believe God and, clothed in Christ, receive all the love, abundance, and power He has for me to do what He created me to do.

 

Ephesians 3:20-21 (NIV) Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.