5 Days of Imperfect Resolutions/Day 3


I resolve not to boast but to humbly submit my plans to God.

5 Days of Imperfect Resolutions: A Devotional for Imperfect Woman

5 Days of Imperfect Resolutions aren’t your normal New Year resolutions. They’re resolutions that are made in full consideration of life’s inevitable challenges and realities. And in case you’re already feeling a little overwhelmed here at the starting line of 2019, I think you’ll find these resolutions more encouraging than burdensome.

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Day 3

But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise;
God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong;
God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not,
to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God.
~ 1 Corinthians 1:27–29

Foolish. Weak. Low. Despised. They’re not the words we typically associate with our greatest ambitions. But they mark God’s plan to redeem the world.

The juxtaposition of our Christmas celebration and January resolutions is ironic. We celebrate the almighty God of the universe bending low to sinful humanity and arriving in a small, no-name town in the weak vessel of infancy—an act of ultimate humility. But the nativity set is barely packed away, and we’re pulling ourselves up by our bootstraps again. Instead of being rightly sobered by our Savior’s humble beginnings as we consider our plans for the future, we make self-reliant plans and resolutions that deny our broken humanity and the deep need Christ came to meet, the salvation of our eternal souls.

Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”—yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring.
What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.
Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.”
As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil.
So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.
~ James 4:13–17

Plans made in ambition and pride, without consideration of the frailty of life, are an offense to God. James calls it arrogant boasting.

Boasting isn’t a word we hear much. In a culture that feeds off the fleeting news of the latest social media post, boasting isn’t just socially acceptable, it’s applauded. But James doesn’t mince words when he tells us boasting emanates from arrogance and is evil. The contrast between God’s kingdom and ours is stark.

Felix culpa is a Latin phrase that translates “happy fault” or “fortunate fall.” The idea is that we are better off after the fall of man and Christ’s redemption than we would have been if Adam and Eve had never sinned. St. Augustine of Hippo wrote, “For God judged it better to bring good out of evil than not to permit any evil to exist.”

In contrast to proud plans and boasting, felix culpa highlights mankind’s greatest fall and our need for God’s glorious redemption. Because of Jesus, our place of ultimate failure becomes the sacred mercy seat and meeting place of God. The day-to-day reality of my own “happy fault(s)” is a powerful reminder of my constant need of God’s grace and redemption and the joy that dependence brings.

I resolve not to boast but to humbly submit my plans to God.

Your turn . . .

How does considering Jesus’ humble life challenge you?

What “happy fault” in your own life can you thank God for?


In case you missed them, here’s . . .

Day 1

Day 2

And be sure to check back tomorrow for another imperfect resolution and encouragement for your day and new year!


Photo credit: Hilary Hyland Photography


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