No…I’m not talking about the Resolutions Committee at General Council (noteworthy as that might be)… but about the “resolutions” of our lives. I hope you’ve made some RESOLUTIONS!
It’s easy to flip the calendar to a new month, a new year. We’ll probably all have a lapse or two and write “08” when we should write “09,” but we’ll get it down before too long. And it’s easy to wrap our (almost) Phariseeical robes around us and pontificate about the endless and mindless “resolutions” that will be offered these early days of the year, and never fulfilled.
It’s somewhat strange that few people argue with the noble goals that are set by such resolutions (lose weight, save money, be kind to people, organize the closet)…we just know that most of these wane in the performance column quickly. (How many health-club memberships are purchased in January?).
So let’s each ask the critical question – what resolutions have I made this year (in life, in marriage, in ministry, in character, in godliness, in finances, etc.)? They don’t have to be made in January, but the “resolve” must occur. It begins with the first step, repeated to become “pattern,” and grown to become “behavior.”
A little anecdote…
Early in our marriage and ministry, Coleen and I found ourselves caught in the trap of putting our Christmas on plastic, and paying it off in 3,4, or 5 months into the new year, with each year taking a little longer to pay off. We were not extravagant. Our families did not place HUGE demands on us for lavish gifts – we just wanted to do something for everyone, and as pioneer pastors in this district, we were living paycheck-to-paycheck, and the next repair on our car OR our Christmas gifts had no other place to fit but “on the plastic.”
We “resolved” to change that. We “resolved” to be completely CASH for Christmas. (We had the great foresight to make that decision in October, when we had just a few weeks to prepare, instead of doing so in February or March and creating a planned savings!) That first cash-only Christmas was painful! But…it revolutionized our financial lives in more ways than “Christmas.”
I know we in ministry serve a never-ending task. At the close of ANY day, there is more to accomplish, more to study, more people to contact, etc. But don’t let that fact lull us into a dangerous complacency. O ur ministry and our lives are always (should be always) about “improvement” and “gains.”
You fill in the blank. Is it about godly character? Time allocation? Family relationships? Reading habits? Ministry efforts?
I trust we will be “resolved” and “determined” and “growing” in our journey WITH Him and FOR Him!
Find an old hymnal and surface the song “I Am Resolved.” The affirmation goes something like this….
I am resolved no longer to linger, charmed by the world's delight; Things that are higher, things that are nobler, These have allured my sight...
I am resolved to go to the Savior, leaving my sin and strife; He is the true one, He is the just one, He hath the words of life.
I am resolved to follow the Savior, faithful and true each day, Heed what He sayeth, do what He willeth; He is the living way.
I am resolved to enter the kingdom, leaving the paths of sin; Friends may oppose me, foes may beset me; Still will I enter in.
I am resolved, and who will go with me? Come, friends, without delay. Taught by the Bible, led by the Spirit, We'll walk the heavenly way.
Refrain: I will hasten to Him, Hasten so glad and free; Jesus, Greatest, Highest, I will come to Thee.