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Why New Year Resolution Fails and How to Get it Right (Part 1)

Resolution is a very common word in a time like this. Resolution is a strong will or determination, the state of being resolute, a statement of intent or vow. It is the act of discerning detail of what needs to discontinue.

That’s why every end of the year seems to be a moment good intentioned people always desire to let go of negative attitudes and embrace new ones for the new year.

But over the years, I have met quite many people who have confessed to the fact that resolutions didn’t work as much as they desired. They complain about reclining few weeks after the new year into the same old pattern of life.

So, the question now is why does new year resolutions fail and how do we get it right?

I believe the right answer has been given by Jesus as explained in the book of Luke 9:57-62. There you will find the three types of resolutions made by three different men towards a response to a desire of higher life.


The first man that came to Jesus while He was going along the road with His disciples said to Him, “I will follow You wherever You go” (9:57).

Truly, this sound like a word from someone who is resolute. But the response of Jesus to him shows why so many resolutions fail.

Jesus said, “The foxes have holes and the bird of the air have nests, but the Son of man has nowhere to lay His head” (9:58).

Do you see here that Jesus did not say to him, “Oh brother, I know you are determined but you can’t follow Me.” Jesus simply responded with a cost picture, “Son of man has nowhere to lay His head.”

This is a response that simply connotes, “You have made a resolution without counting the cost.” And of course, this man did not count the cost of Discipleship.

How did I know?

The Bible says he met Jesus on the road (Luke 9:57). And our Lord is omniscient. He knows all things including what we don’t even know about ourselves.

Sometimes just like Peter who happened to have been a close disciple to Jesus said to Him, “Lord, I am ready to go with You, both into prison, and to death.”

But Jesus made it clear that the cock shall not crow the same day before Peter shall deny three times that he doesn’t know Him (Luke 22:33-34).

It looks like a joke because Peter was resolute within him to follow Jesus to both prison and death, yet it happened. Peter denied Jesus (60-62).

So we need to understand the importance of counting the cost before we begin to make resolutions that we will not be able to keep.

Meanwhile, there are two lessons we need to learn from the man who met Jesus along the road and Peter who happened to be a close disciple of Jesus.

#1: Resolutions Requires Knowing the Demands

The first cost we must count before we can make any successful resolution is to know and understand the demands of our resoluteness. Do you know the demands of full time ministry before you will say yes to it? Do you know the demands of marriage before you are going to say “Yes, I do.”

Every resolution has its demands.

It could have been wise for that man who met Jesus on the road to first seek to know the cost of following Him before making such bogus speech out of emotions.

I know some of us believe that if God should reveal some of the sufferings we will go through, many of us could have ran away from following Him into full time ministry. I don’t agree with this.

For instance, Naomi did not hide the demands of following her from Ruth, yet Ruth followed her (Ruth 1:11-19). Jesus plainly decided to show Paul how great things he must suffer for His name’s sake (Acts 9:16).

So, when it comes to resolution demands to follow Christ, it is not something hidden. It is only in Cults they hide divers demands of resolutions from their culprits.

Therefore, your resolutions to experience positive change in the coming year requires that you familiarize first with the demands before making such resolutions.

#2: Resolutions Require the Power to Face the Demands

The failure of Peter was not as a result of not knowing the demands, it was the ignorance of the power needed to face the demand.

Just like any of us, Peter felt what he needed is the resolution of his allegiance to follow Jesus even where others could not follow Him. It was a good resolution that lacks the divine power to back it up. Someone once said, “Courage demands backbone and not wishbone.”

Peter had a wishbone but he lacked the backbone.

But the same Peter with a different Spirit in Acts 2:14 stood up to face the demand of his resolution after he was empowered by the Holy Spirit.

Don’t you also think we need the backbone of the Holy Spirit to face the demands of our curiosity for a new life, new step, and pursuit of a new course in the coming year.

The wishbone will break when the demands of our resolutions to start a new life becomes overwhelming. But the backbone will stand up to face the demands.

Please don’t forget: Successful resolutions for the coming year requires the knowledge of the DEMANDS and the POWER to STAND in the midst of PRESSURES.

Our wisdom is to seek the help of the LORD!


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