Happy New Year! I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas with family and friends and that you're looking forward to the blessings, achievements, growth and challenges that lie ahead in 2016!
As I write this, it's the first day of the year, and every social media platform I'm a part of is abuzz with inspiring New Year's quotes and daring resolutions. From losing weight and gaining control to reading more books and spending less money, people everywhere are taking time today to reflect on their priorities ... and to consider which of them need rearranging.
According to statisticbrain.com, the top 10 New Year's Resolutions from last year were as follows:
- Lose Weight
- Get Organized
- Spend Less, Save More
- Enjoy Life to the Fullest
- Stay Fit and Healthy
- Learn Something Exciting
- Quit Smoking
- Help Others in Their Dreams
- Fall in Love
- Spend More Time with Family
If you're like me, you made at least one of the resolutions listed above at one point or another during the past 12 months. And, if you're like me yet again (as well as like 92 percent of resolution makers!), you probably failed to maintain those resolutions and reach the goals you set, and so, understandably, you now find yourself a bit jaded by the whole "New Year, New You" hype.
This is purely my opinion, but I think the reason why we rarely keep our resolutions is twofold. For one, I doubt most of us have what it takes—in our own strength, at least—to do away with our bad habits and overcome the obstacles that bar us from success. On top of that, the goals we set are often unrealistic; we attempt to cross a chasm with a single leap rather than build a bridge, one block at a time.
Another aspect of failed resolutions is the cause and effect relationship. We often think that by losing weight, falling in love, quitting smoking, etc., we will feel an abiding sense of joy and contentment. When this isn't the case, we get discouraged and revert back to old patterns of living.
A plethora of articles are available that address why resolutions fail and how to be successful this go-round, and I have no doubt they'd be very helpful to read. However, I'd like to propose a resolution that I believe trumps all other resolutions, health related or otherwise, and that is this:
Study God's Word daily.
If you believe the Bible when it says every word is "breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness," then I invite you to take a look at the following two Scriptures and consider how they might apply to you and me and our pursuit of health and wholeness.
"Don't be impressed with your own wisdom. Instead, fear the Lord and turn away from evil. Then you will have healing for your body and strength for your bones." (Prov. 3:7-8, NLT).
"My son, attend to my words; incline your ear to my sayings. Do not let them depart from your eyes; keep them in the midst of your heart; for they are life to those who find them, and health to all their body" (Prov. 4:20-22, MEV).
Before I continue, let me point out that each of these verses are from Proverbs, one of the "Wisdom" books of the Bible and penned by King Solomon, whose God-given wisdom was unsurpassed. In other words, it's the best "self-help" book available! Conveniently, it contains 31 chapters, one for every day of most months. I challenge you to read it monthly, over and over throughout 2016, and take note of how you think and feel and relate to the world around you. I believe it will bless you greatly!
Moving on ...
Each of those proverbs states explicitly that there is a direct relationship between wisdom and health. When we seek and store up wisdom, we are rewarded with strength and healing. It can be inferred that if we do the opposite and chase after material possessions and carnal passions, we attain only those superficial, external things while our inner being breaks down.
Jesus said that "man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God."The Bible is far more than a history book or an anthology of good advice and timeless moral lessons. It's, as the book of Hebrews says, "living and active"—it reads us just as much as we read it! It changes us from the inside out, renewing our mind, reinvigorating our hearts, refreshing our spirits with every word. Indeed, even the stories and chapters that seem foreign and irrelevant find meaning when we take the time to dig beyond the surface and ask the Holy Spirit to give us revelation.
I speak from personal experience when I say that prioritizing time in God's Word, His divine love letter, positively impacts every single area of one's life. It strengthens us, consoles us, corrects us, convicts us, guides us, and most of all points us to the Author and Finisher of our faith. When our minds and hearts are filled with this revolutionizing, one-of-a-kind truth, our whole lives become grafted into the life-giving vine of Jesus Christ. Then, and only then, can we find victory, feel peace, and flourish along the path God's carved out for us.
This year, I encourage you to put "Study God's Word Daily" at the top of your Resolutions list. Plug it into your calendar. Set reminders on your phone. Include it on your to-do list. And then honor it—no excuses. Whether it's 30 minutes or 30 seconds, time in the Bible is never wasted.
Tweet me at @dandersontyler to let me know if you've made this resolution as well as how it's going. I'd love to hear about it!
Diana Anderson-Tyler is the author of Creation House's Fit for Faith: A Christian Woman's Guide to Total Fitness, Perfect Fit: Weekly Wisdom and Workouts for Women of Faith and Fitness, and her latest book, Immeasurable: Diving into the Depths of God's Love. Her popular website can be found at dianaandersontyler.com and she is the owner and a coach at CrossFit 925.
For the original article, visit dianaandersontyler.com.
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