Friday, December 30, 2011

On New Year's Resolutions

Each New Year in the U.S. brings about a flurry of resolutions. People resolve to eat better, to read the Bible more, to give up smoking, to lose weight, to not get angry as much, to pray more, to learn a new language, to be a better person, to watch less tv, etc. At the start of New Year’s Day, we will “resolve” to do just about anything. A new year is full of the savory aroma of hope and brings the opportunity for a fresh start.

However, the majority of New Year’s resolutions (around 88%) ultimately fail. Though we have good intentions, we make resolutions as though they are fanciful dreams and whimsical wishes. Resolutions aren’t like that. They are not wispy wonders that can be imagined but never realized. They are, instead, like large pieces of granite driven into the Earth for all to see. They are not something to be taken lightly. When we resolve to do something, it is a serious matter.

In the NIV Bible, the word “resolve” can only be found four times (2 Chronicles 20:3, Daniel 1:8, Malachi 2:2, 1 Cor. 2:2). When you examine those verses, you’ll find that the only time someone resolves to do something is in matters of great importance. For instance, Jehoshaphat resolved to inquire of God when Judah was completely surrounded by her enemies and while staying with the Corinthians, Paul resolved to only know Jesus Christ.

Therefore, as another year begins, let us bask in the glow of hope and promise that comes with it, but let’s refrain from making any hasty resolutions. Let’s keep our resolutions for the times when we really need them.
The above is a short essay I wrote for the January 2012 monthly newsletter, The Christian Messenger, of the Christian Church of Litchfield.

No comments: