It’s customary for many to start the year with a set of resolutions. According to one source, 25% of those resolutions fail within the first week, and more than half are history by the time the year is half history.
How many people begin their commitment to Christ but fail to see it through to the end? Obviously none of us know for sure, but most or all of us can think of someone (or multiple someones) who, so far as we know, did exactly that. There are any number of reasons why Christians fall away, but perhaps one of them is that they didn’t translate their desire to serve Christ and be with Him for eternity into actionable things for them to do today. The “experts” on goal-setting frequently note that one of the best ways to accomplish a long-term goal is to break it up into smaller, manageable tasks.
There is a song that says, “Father God, just for today help me to walk the narrow way. Help me stand when I might fall; Give me Your strength to hear Your call.” While we certainly need to consider the big picture of following Christ for all our lives and what that will entail, perhaps more of us would be successful if we thought about just a few things that we can commit to “just for today”:
- Just for today, I will put God first. (Matt 6.33)
- Just for today, I will meditate on God’s word. (2 Tim 2.15; Acts 17.11)
- Just for today, I will resist temptation. (1 Cor 10.13–14)
- Just for today, I will let my light shine before men. (Matt 5.16)
- Just for today, I will love my neighbor as myself. (Rom 13.9)
- Just for today, I will forgive those who wrong me. (Mark 11.25)
- Just for today, I will talk about God’s word. (Acts 4.20, 8.4)
- Just for today, I will walk God’s narrow way. (Matt 7.13–14)
When we say, “Just for today,” we aren’t saying that we’re going to do these things for today only. Rather, we are focusing on fulfilling our commitment to God today, then fulfilling that commitment tomorrow when it becomes today.
It’s also important that as much as possible, we treat each “today” as a fresh opportunity to serve God. While there may be consequences left over from yesterday’s shortcomings, we can’t change that those things happened. Instead, we ask God’s forgiveness and move forward with the intention to serve God today. For many, it’s when we let each day’s shortcomings build up in our mind that we lose confidence in our ability to endure, rather than continuing to put our trust in our ever-faithful God.