Did you know that the practice of New Year’s resolutions had its origin in religion? Ancient Babylonians and Romans made promises to their gods. This was also part of Judaism’s autumn festivals and the Christian observance of Lent.
Many of us are determined to take action to improve our physical condition. In my own case, I stayed fit by playing racquetball several times a week. I was also an avid skier. Then, a little over three years ago major back surgery forced me to give up those activities. As a result, I began to struggle to stay in shape.
Some of you reading this are also aware that in early December I once again had back surgery. I’m happy to report that the surgery seems to have been successful. Much of the discomfort in my legs seems to have gone away. Praise God! And as I look ahead to 2015, I’m determined to continue my efforts to improve this part of my life. Once again I can begin an exercise program—and I’m told I may even be able to play racquetball again.
I’m thankful for John’s words to Gaius in his third little epistle.
He wrote, “Dear friends, I pray that you may . . . be in good health physically just as you are spiritually” (3 John 2).
Don’t misunderstand! John is not teaching a “health and wealth” gospel (see Principle #1 in 3 John in my Life Essentials Study Bible). God is concerned about our health, although we also know that physical afflictions are a part of the aging process. But, I thank God for modern medicine and the opportunity to maintain a proper exercise program.
Finding an accountability partner can also help. A 2007 study of 3,000 people found that 88% of those making resolutions failed. The study also found that those who shared their goals with others had a far greater chance of success.
For those of you blessed with good health, remember to thank God. Also, remember to pray for those with physical struggles and limitations.