Youth Messenger Online Edition


Making Vows That Stick
Making Vows That Stick

A new year is a fresh start. At the beginning of a new year, many practice the tradition of making new year’s resolutions—vows to carry out some act(s) of self-improvement. These pledges might vary from physical promises such as losing excess weight, exercising more, eating more healthfully, or quitting smoking to personal or social promises such as studying more, avoiding moodiness, helping the needy, or donating to charity.

Cynics say that new year’s resolutions are meant to be broken. But actually, that need not be the case. Pollsters have found that those who make resolutions such as these are over 10 times more likely to have a successful outcome in their plans compared to others who make no such attempt.

A study at the University of Bristol showed that males had better success when they made small, measurable goals, while females succeeded more when they made their goals public and were supported by friends.

As Christians, we can enjoy great success in this regard since temperance (self-control) is a fruit of the Holy Spirit. So, how can we make lasting resolutions that will endure?

“You desire to make your life such as will fit you for heaven at last. You are often discouraged at finding yourself weak in moral power, in slavery to doubt, and controlled by the habits and customs of your old life in sin. . . . Your promises are like ropes of sand. . . .

“But you need not despair.

. . . Yield up your will to the will of Jesus Christ; and as you do this, God will immediately take possession and work in you to will and to do of His good pleasure. Your whole nature will then be brought under the control of the Spirit of Christ, and even your thoughts will be subject to Him. You cannot control your impulses, your emotions, as you may desire; but you can control the will, and you can make an entire change in your life. By yielding up your will to Christ, your life will be hid with Christ in God and allied to the power which is above all principalities and powers. You will have strength from God that will hold you fast to His strength; and a new light, even the light of living faith, will be possible to you. But your will must cooperate with God’s will. . . .

“Will you not say, ‘I will give my will to Jesus, and I will do it now,’ and from this moment be wholly on the Lord’s side?”—Our High Calling, p. 103.