by Anna Kuta
"For by grace are you saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the
gift of God, not of works, lest any man should boast" (Ephesians 2:8-9).
It's that time of year again! I'm talking about New Year's resolutions, of
course. It's still December as I'm writing, but I guarantee that by the time you
read this, I'll already be asking myself what possessed me to come up with such
grand, unattainable plans for 2015. (It seemed like a good idea at the time).
Every year I tell myself it'll finally be the year I keep all my resolutions. I
mean, come on – how hard can it possibly be to finally set aside an hour for
exercise each day, to stop consuming so much chocolate and coffee, and to never
sleep for less than eight hours again?
Why are New Year's resolutions so hard to keep? I don't know, but it's a lot
like another area of life. Let me explain.
Before I became a Christian at the age of 17, I approached my life the same way
I often approach New Year's resolutions. I would try so hard to do the right
things but I always ended up falling flat. I convinced myself that as long as I
was the "good girl," I'd be fine, so I tried really hard to live up to certain
standards to please everyone, and hopefully God too. The problem, though, is
that there's nothing anyone can do in his or her own power to "earn" God's
As Ephesians 2:8 says, it's by God's grace that we are saved, not because of
anything we could ever hope to attain or accomplish. God's gift of His son Jesus
Christ to save us from our sins through His death and resurrection is just that
– a gift. Doing all the good, noble things in the world will never earn
salvation, and like verse 9 says, nobody could ever think of boasting about such
an undeserved gift.
Of course, the desire to do the right things is one result of making Jesus the
Lord of your life, but we all continue to mess up because, after all, we are
just sinners saved by grace. I still lose sight of it all sometimes and get
caught up in the cycle of trying to "out-good" myself and others. This new year,
however, in light of any New Year's resolutions you may have made (or already
broken), join me in remembering the assurance of one thing we never have to work
to attain: God's grace.
Intersecting Faith & Life:
It's hard to live up to New Year's resolutions, but
it's impossible to earn God's favor through good works or noble aspirations.
This year, realize and thank God anew for the gift of His grace and salvation
2 Timothy 1:8-10
Malankara World New Year Supplement
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