Wednesday, January 4, 2017
Finding Happiness in a New Year
This year an estimated 139 million Americans will do some type of New Year’s resolution. That is about half of our nation. By June, 92% will have failed, leaving only 8% to celebrate victory.
Where do we find the answers to the deep things of the heart and soul? Where do we find meaning, happiness and satisfaction? They are found in Jesus. In Him we will find all we need. You will get temporary happiness in your resolutions, but you will find lasting peace through Jesus.
A resolution is a statement of purpose backed up with an initial resolve to make a change like “I make a resolution to lose 25 pounds this year.” They typically cover areas like our health, finances or relationships.
Why do we do them, especially if the majority of us fall short? Likely, it is something deeper than the resolution itself. One driver could be a lack of satisfaction. When someone looks at different areas of their life, they might not like what they see. As a result, they might think “If I can just get this mountain of debt paid off I’ll be able to breathe”, while another says to themselves, “If we can just turn our marriage around that’ll make all the difference.”
With that in mind, consider this statement from author and motivational speaker, Stephen Shapiro. After reviewing the data from a major research project he said, “People who achieve their resolutions every year are NO happier than those who do not set resolutions or who are unsuccessful in achieving them.”
Wow! What a mind blowing finding. What is the deeper motivation in setting your resolution or goal? Is the focus just to lose the weight or do you think it will bring greater happiness or satisfaction to your life? Consider this - if we believe that working hard on the outside of our lives is going to change the inside, we will be sadly disappointed.
When we achieve what we set out for, yes, we will be happy for a moment or a brief season of time, but then it will wear off. Eventually we will be right back where we started. Honestly, are the changes you want deeper than just your health, finances or relationships?
The Scriptures say, “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death” (Proverbs 14:12). This is saying, “I am going to look for happiness here and there, but when I get there I find it is only a vapor – emptiness.”