Resolutions are a Good Idea!
So ‘what’s your new year resolutions for this year?’ is probably the most often asked question within 48 hours of New Year’s Eve, and then it’s mostly true, that most resolutions are abandoned within a week.
Even though resolutions are abandoned I still think they are powerful to help kick start some real, incremental change in our lives.
Sometime between 1722 and 1723 Jonathon Edwards, former president of Princeton University, crafted 70 resolutions. These resolutions are available to see. They are fascintating.
Resolutions are spoken of in the scriptures. I believe resolutions are a key to ongoing growth. As someone has said, “No one coasts into Christlikeness’.
Here’s a few descriptions of biblical resolutions.
1 Corinthians 2:2 “For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.”
Psalm 17:3 “Though you probe my heart and examine me at night, though you test me, you find nothing; I have resolved that my mouth will not sin.”
Daniel 1:8 “But Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine, and he asked the chief official for permission not defile himself this way.”
2 Chronicles 20:3-4 “Alarmed, Jehoshaphat resolved to inquire of the Lord.”
So from God’s point of view, resolutions may not be so bad an idea.
My favourite story about resolutions is the one about William Booth, founder of the Salvation Army. One day his daughter Catherine was asked what she remembered about her dad. Among other things, she said, “My father not only made vows (read ‘resolutions’), but he kept them.” That’s huge. Don’t only make resolutions in 2011 but keep them.
Here’s a few of mine for 2011
I resolve to pray more and to read Scriptures more slowly and meditatively.
I resolve to prioritize my marriage and my relationship with my adult sons and their wives.
I resolve to care for myself spiritually.
I resolve to confront destructive patterns of sin in my own life and in the lives of others when necessary.
I resolve to love people, and not crowds.
I resolve to invest myself in a few people and help them become insiders in their spheres of influence.
I resolve to be open to change, especially as I get older.
I resolve to workout at least 5 days a week, and to eat according to Rosetta’s pattern.
I resolve to be more generous and strategic in the use of my time, talents and resources, and to be open to meet the needs of the poor in my span of care.
I resolve to enjoy life more and visit more places with my wife in our 35th year of marriage.
If you found this interesting, check out this short piece on ‘sticking to your new year’s resolutions.” It’s pretty good but a little corny.