IT'S common for people to welcome a new year with resolutions. Often, though, another year goes by without the accomplishment of their good intentions. Of course, the beginning of a new year is not the only time we make resolutions. Throughout the year we are working to accomplish a variety of things. And most of us know the bitter taste of failure in spite of our best human effort.
More is needed, though, than human effort. There's a need for spirituality and for a yielding to the divine will, which obtain the helpof God and His Christ. When we start with God, by letting His will mold our desires, our efforts are strengthened and guided by Him. Our success is largely dependent on whether our pursuits are in line with God's perfect will.
The spiritual integrity of our goals and our actions is even more important than getting things done. The results will be more satisfying and permanent when our steps involve a reshaping of our lives by Christ, the divine influence always present to heal and enlighten and guide us. Through prayer and through a deep desire to bring our lives into accord with the divine will, we discern the presence of the Christ, directing our efforts in accord with God's will and not our own. People are often misled by the lower elements in human nature -- such as greed, pride, sensuality, selfishness -- to pursue false ends.
``You can do anything you set your mind to do'' and ``Your life is what you make it'' are popular statements. Despite the apparent worthiness of such recipes for success, they don't take into consideration the fact that without Christ we may be aiming for the wrong things. While caught up in a personal ego and pursuing worldly goals we may not notice the dangers ahead. We think we are in control of our lives, but we're unwittingly being influenced by what Paul refers to as ``the carnal mind''1 -- which is leading us in the wrong direction.
Maybe the career burnouts and stress so common in today's society stem from the misdirected aims of the carnal mind. This false, so-called mind is filled with pride in material living. It would delude us into believing that our problems can all be resolved through charm, money, or sheer human will. We can be grateful, though, that God Almighty is the one true Mind, the only genuine source of thought, and that the Christ is at hand to redirect our lives in the pursuit of God's righteousness. Christ subordinates material will to the designs of divine Love. To let God direct our lives for His purpose is the most rewarding resolution we can make. It is a blessed resolution that does not rely on personal will but on God, and this makes all the difference. Our unselfish pursuit of spiritual good draws from God and it is His power that enables us to succeed. We then enjoy the practical outcome while rejoicing in the fact that we have become a better person.
Christ Jesus didn't look to personal resources. He who healed sin and countless diseases is recorded as saying, ``My Father worketh hitherto, and I work'' and ``The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do.''2 His entire career was a demonstration of the good that God has provided for man. Jesus recognized man's God-given capacity to accomplish all good.
The fact is that good is inherent in God's man, in our true selfhood, made in the image of the altogether perfect God. The Bible reveals God as Spirit and therefore man, who is made in Spirit's likeness, must be spiritual and eternally blessed. This may not agree with what the physical senses tell us, but we can prove this fact, by degrees, through spiritual growth and regeneration.
Our highest resolve should be to let our lives attest to that spiritual perfection that is found in Christ. Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, writes, ``The divine demand, `Be ye therefore perfect,' is scientific, and the human footsteps leading to perfection are indispensable.''3 She also says: ``Be sure that God directs your way; then, hasten to follow under every circumstance. Human will must be subjugated. We cannot obey both God, good, and evil, -- in other words, the material senses, false suggestions, self-will, selfish motives, and human policy.''4
Divine Mind is our only true Mind, and it is directing us through Christ. When Christ reigns in human consciousness, evil is seen for the falsity that it is. Evil cannot keep us from obeying God, for it has no real power. Obedience to the one Mind comes quite naturally as we glimpse this fact and are willing to yield to the divine will.
This year let's resolve, more than before, to honor God and His Christ. At year's end we may be surprised at how much good we have accomplished.
1See Romans 8:7. 2John 5:17, 19. 3Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, pp. 253-254. 4Miscellaneous Writings, pp. 117-118. DAILY BIBLE VERSE: The gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Romans 6:23