I can only ever remember making two New Year’s resolutions. The first was when I was a child and my aunt, who was hosting the party, insisted that we do so. I had no idea what to say and as the seconds to midnight ticked down I blurted out, “I resolve not to swim the English Channel.” Safe to say I didn’t keep it. The second was many years later when I resolved not to use the stairs of our house as a filing cabinet. At the time my office was upstairs and I had got into the habit of walking through the front door and dumping files and papers on the stairs, where they would remain. I kept this one for a few weeks but then like so many others it too fell by the wayside.
It seems to me that the problem with resolutions is that we have to rely on our own resources and commitment to see them through, and most of the time our enthusiasm wanes because in the end its too much effort. What we really need in our lives are not resolutions but revolutions, and that’s exactly what Jesus offered those who came to him with lives they wanted to change. He didn’t just tell them what they needed to do – he gave them the power to do it.