Temptation and Your New Year's Resolution


Do you commit yourself to making a New Year's Resolution each year? Or maybe you are like my wife, and would set goals for yourself on your birthday for the next year of your life? Or maybe an athlete that sets a goal for yourself after a season ends to prepare to be better next year? Or a student that is setting goals for a new school year?

Whatever your place in life, I am sure you have set goals for yourself at one point or another. Setting goals for yourself is quite a noble task. You desire to be better tomorrow than you are today!

In the College and Career class yesterday, I asked the group to name a few goals or resolutions they have set for themselves at some point in their lives. Here is their response:

  • Don't be late

  • Save more money

  • Weight adjustment

  • Health

  • Learn something new

  • Stop dating crazies

  • Make resolutions

  • Bible goals

  • Intentional with long distance relationships

  • Exercise

  • Don't cry

  • Make more money

  • Better Job

What a great list! We see many noble challenges before this group. The question was then posed, "How do you intend to accomplish these tasks?" Here is their response:

  • Set small goals

  • Set realistic goals

  • Have the right tools to accomplish your goals

  • Be consistent

  • Be disciplined

  • Identify and remove obstacles

Planning and being prepared are certainly ways we can go about overcoming the temptation to give up on our goals. As with any goals we set in life, we will be tempted to break our resolutions. However, we can take comfort in knowing that one man, Jesus, faced temptation and yet never sinned!

In Matthew 4, Jesus was tempted by Satan through provision, protection, and power. Each time, Jesus responded rightly to the temptation through quoting Scripture. He knew God's will, and knew that the ultimate plan was way more important than any temporary satisfaction that was not productive in the grand scheme.

As we began looking at our own goals set in class, we realized that every goal we set for ourselves was focused on and could be tempted by one of these three areas of temptations!

Next time you set a goal for yourself, remember that you can overcome the temptation just as Jesus overcame temptation, and be reminded of the fact that Jesus was able to live a perfect life as fully man in order to redeem us from our sins and restore us to a right relationship with the Father.

Several great summary statements in Explore the Bible this week:

  • God may use times of temptation to sharpen and shape us.

  • Scripture is a sure defense against the attacks of Satan.

  • We demonstrate trust in God by standing against short-term promises of temptation.

  • Jesus faced real temptation, yet He never sinned.

"For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tested in every way as we are, yet without sin. Therefore, let us approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us at the proper time." (Hebrews 4:15-16)

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