The Gospel for Failed Resolutions

I haven’t failed any of my crazy “30 Thirties” for my New Year’s Resolution yet, but I have definitely struggled. One of my goals is to write 300 blog posts this year, for example, and my plan was to give myself 65 “miss days”, but, I have been so busy this first part of the year that I haven’t written as many as I’ve wanted to, and it will require more discipline of me in coming months to blog almost every day.

I also had a plan to begin losing weight and eating more healthy at the beginning of the year, but between unexpected trips, staying with friends in the hospital, and unexpected sicknesses, it’s proven very difficult to get into a routine of eating more healthy and working out! I haven’t stopped working on it though!

I also want to read my bible through 3 times this year, and although I’ve stayed generally on track, I haven’t been able to read every day like I’ve wanted to, and so I’ve had to do alot of make-up reading.

Again, I haven’t failed at anything, but there’ve been plenty of times where I’ve become discouraged that I’m not staying as caught up as I’d like, and I can begin to feel the pressure of not being able to finish it all! But then I remember the gospel!

I wrote in a previous post¬†that the gospel is the foundation of all right resolutions, but it’s also the news we need for failed resolutions! The gospel, the news of Christ’s life, death and resurrection on our behalf, is what we need to hear and remember when we fail at the goals we set for ourselves.

The reason for this is simply that the gospel reminds us that we aren’t failures in any ultimate sense, and it frees us from needing to find our “okayness” in how well we succeed at our own personal goals. We’ve all set laws for ourselves in our lives at one time or another, we’ve all made goals or resolutions, and yet we’ve all come short at one point or another. Well, the gospel is the news that we’ve been set free from the curse of breaking God’s law, but also the news that we’ve been set free from breaking the self-imposed curse of breaking our laws as well! In Christ, there is no condemnation from God to you, and if God looks at you and is pleased with you, then you are calling God wrong if you cannot remember to think the same of yourself.

Please note – I’m not talking about “positive thinking” or trying to simply help you with your feelings of “self-worth” – what I’m saying is that the gospel helps us redefine ourselves by what Christ has done for us and has been for us, instead of what we have done for ourselves or been for ourselves. And although there is a part of us that hates that, because we want to be successful, independent people, there is something much more wonderful, and that is full dependence on God’s success and promises for you.

When you fail at a resolution, you don’t have to feel condemned, because you don’t have to be defined by whether or not you succeed. God has purchased your redefinition – and it is freeing to walk in that. Here are just a few examples.

Whether you succeed or fail at your resolutions, you can be confident that God will bring good from it (Romans 8:28)

Your failures and successes are both given to you by God graciously working within you in order to bring you closer to himself (Romans 8:32; Phil 2:12-13; 2 Cor 4:17)

Your failures don’t diminish God’s love for you, because he loved you even when you were still a failure (Romans 5:8)

Your failures don’t undermine or affect God’s plan for your life, or the lives of others (Eph 1:11)

Finally, even if you fail in your resolutions, you are free to get up back and try again, because all of the above promises will ALWAYS and at every moment apply to you!


So, don’t quit, don’t give up, and don’t feel discouraged when you fail. And if you have quit, have given up, or have been carrying a weight of discouragement, remember the gospel, be free from that guilt, and try again!

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