“Habits eat willpower for breakfast.”—John Ortberg
I was 33 years old when I completely gave up on the concept of New Year’s resolutions. I remember someone asking me that January if I had made any resolutions for the year. I just gave them a blank stare and said, “Nope.” That was that.
I’m guessing you’ve experienced the sting of a resolution that failed. Here you had identified something in your life that wasn’t right. At the very least you found something that could’ve been better. Even though you gave it a good shot, you just couldn’t stick with it.
Whether it’s a resolution we want to implement or a temptation that we want to resist, the thing that will determine our success is willpower. Willpower is like a battery. You only get so much of it every day, and then it’s gone.
You don’t have the willpower to do something difficult indefinitely. You can’t depend on your willpower to resist temptation. It’s only a matter of time until you fail the resolution or fall into the temptation.
So instead of relying so much on your own willpower to defeat temptation, use that willpower to tap into a greater power. Use your willpower to establish the habit of praying at a certain time. Spend that willpower on building the habit of personal Bible reading. Your power is limited. God’s power isn’t.
“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9).