Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these other things shall be added unto you as well.—Matthew 6:33
What if you could check the boxes on all the major New Year’s resolutions – losing weight, breaking bad habits, being more financially disciplined, improving interpersonal relationships, enjoying life more – with just one annual commitment? Well, you can.
In fact, all you ever need from here on out is just one resolution: to be more faithful to the Lord than you were the year before.
Think about it. If you’re spending more time on Bible reading and prayer and being more intentional on being a doer of the word and not a hearer only (James 1:22), the rest will fall into place.
You’ll read more, which is good for your brain, and spend more time meditating on God’s Word, which is good for your soul and even can produce physical benefits.
You’ll gorge less and exercise more, because you’ll appreciate that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19) and that gluttony is a sin (Proverbs 23:2). So your gym membership may finally be put to better use than the Oreos you bought on BOGO.
Similarly, you’ll drink less (or none), and you’ll finally tap into the ability to quit smoking, courtesy of the Holy Spirit, so you’ll benefit not only physically but also financially and relationally. You can set aside all that money you would typically spend on alcohol and cigarettes, and enjoy being with people who avoided you when you smoked and drank. So bam. Relationships and money saved.
That brings us to financial discipline. If you’re focusing on faithfulness, you’ll give more to the Lord’s work, which brings a blessing (Malachi 3:10), and you’ll spend less money foolishly, so you’re more likely to stash away some savings. That will also put you in a position to minister to others when they have needs. (And wouldn’t people like my missionary friends Lance and Laura Ostman be grateful for that?)
Speaking of others, let’s get back to relationships. If you’re right with God, you will demonstrate love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5:22–23). Such qualities generally—though not always (see 2 Corinthians 2:15)—result in better interpersonal harmony and, therefore, a greater sense of fulfillment.
It’s easy to feel fulfilled and to love life when you’re right with God. He actually intends for us to enjoy the life He has given us (John 10:10). Think about the kind of person Jesus must have been. It’s unlikely people would have been drawn to Him in droves if He were a miserable, dour man. More likely—though He was frank, to say the least—He was joyful, and He brought joy to those around Him. He delighted in people. He delighted in experiences. He delighted in creation. He took time to enjoy them all, as should we.
If you’ve been frustrated year after year by your list of forgotten resolutions, fret no more. Make this one resolution this year and next year and the year after that. And then watch the blessings flow.