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Psalm 32:1-2, The Joy of Forgiveness

Monday, January 1

New Year's Resolutions

Narrative Lectionary Daily Devotions written by Kace Leetch from Clergy Stuff.

Happy New Year! It's resolution time! New Year's resolutions have been a tradition forever. And I really. Hate. Them. Here's why. They're designed to fail.

So you want to make a change to your life. If you think of it in December and decide the change will be your New Year's resolution, then why wait? If it's a change you're truly ready, do it when you think of it. The fact that you're waiting until Jan 1 shows you're not thrilled about this change, and if you're not fully committed, it won't last long.

Maybe you are prepping for a change you truly are ready to make. Great! You start on January 1 and you're doing great for 3 days, 10 days, 21 days. Then you miss a day. And the whole thing falls apart. By February you've given up. New Year's resolutions are designed so that if you miss a day, you tell yourself you've blown your chance at this year's resolution. Oh, well. Maybe try again next year.

I think I've found a foolproof way to beat the New Year's resolution game. Every year I give up smoking as my resolution. Which is easy. 'Cause I don't smoke. But I succeed every year!

All kidding aside, it's great to want to keep improving your life. To make necessary changes to improve your health, your relationships, your finances, or your quality of life. But it might be helpful to re-frame it. Instead of thinking of it as, "I'm gonna start on Jan 1 and do it every single day until I fail," think of it as, "I'm gonna make a positive change in my life. I'll start small. I'll forgive myself for the times I don't do it perfectly. And I'll celebrate the successes."

Today's psalm reminds us that we are creatures that are forgiven. Day after day. Over and over again. Forever. God doesn't hold grudges. God forgives, washes clean, and offers strength and support to keep moving forward, no matter where we are on our journey of change. So go on out there and crush your challenges! Make a change. Keep at it. Forgive yourself and accept God's forgiveness. And remember, whether you change or not, you are perfectly made. You are perfect just the way you are.

Narrative Lectionary Text: Psalm 32:1-2

Happy are those whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.

Happy are those to whom the Lord imputes no iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit.