The top-of-the-list resolution easily centres on getting fit or losing weight. We simply have to turn on the television, flip through a magazine or stroll around the mall to see the evidence. Whether it's the entrance of a book store lined with low-fat, sugar-free and fad-diet recipe books, the motivating posters plastered outside a fitness apparel store or the kiosk demonstrating the jiggle-machine, my senses were recently bombarded with these 'new you' messages at my local mall.
It should come as no surprise that companies want in on the resolution action. According to MarketData, an American-based market research firm, the U.S. weight-loss industry pulls in $20-billion dollars a year. That figure includes diet books, diet drugs and the extreme, weight-loss surgery. The biggest target for the industry: women. The same research shows that 85% of consumers of weight loss products are women.
The messages we're fed
Lorna Jane – Australia's popular fitness clothing retailer – launched the "Move. Nourish. Believe." campaign to start 2013. The aim is to get women, specifically, to live a more active life. Its pillars are that a woman should: "Move her body every day. Nourish from the inside out. Believe in herself that anything is possible if you work hard enough."
In and of themselves those do sound like great, motivating statements. But in breaking it down a bit more I would argue this statement – along with other fitness motivators – is only a sliver of the truth. It is not by our belief in ourselves that anything is possible, as this slogan puts it. But, it is in Christ that "we live and move and have our being," (Acts 17 verse 28 NIV).
We run the risk of putting too much emphasis on our own strength, our own abilities or our own determination to get fit and drop those pounds if we leave Christ out of the equation. God wants us to look to Him for the motivation to stick to it, even in something as practical as a New Year's resolution.
Through Christ, God gives us the amazing gift of eternal life when we choose to have Him be Lord of our lives. Yet, there are many options we face every day that are an echo of the choice God gave the Israelites, "…I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life…" (Deuteronomy 30 verse 19 NIV).
They mask themselves as seemingly simple or mundane decisions, but do we choose life? Do we get out of bed grumpy or joyful? De we pick fast-food or a piece of fruit? Do we choose to sit on the sofa or tie up a pair of sneakers for a walk/job?
Christ came to live, die and rise again so we could have eternal life. Yet He promised another reason, "I've come that they may have life, and have it abundantly," (John 10 verse 10 KJV). Christ wants us to choose life now. I say, choose Him now. Choose life in our everyday decisions. Choose life in our resolutions.
Lisa Goetze grew up near Toronto, Canada, where she worked as a writer for two national news broadcasts. She now serves full-time at Youth With A Mission in Brisbane.
Lisa Goetze's previous articles may be viewed at www.pressserviceinternational.org/lisa-goetze.html