Now that the dust of the New Year approaching and coming has settled, it's time to nestle back up to our work schedules, battling the tough task of writing a seven, without needing to scratch out a six before hand. It’s life as usual, but let's not forgot those goals we’re all reminded to set sometime in early December, the “r” word of course.
Culture demands resolutions be set around this time, in fact this is a post-Christmas season for our culture: marketing for items like planners and exercise equipment are tailored around it, our colleagues and friends come eager to wish a "happy new year" only to follow up with questions about the big changes in our plans.
Here is what the world is telling you a resolution is: to firmly and decisively take action on something, the action of solving a something lingering as a problem in our lives that we overcome. And in our culture's true fashion, we set these resolutions in a grand way to gain greatly as an individual, rather than maybe trim where we need. The two main elements of resolutions our culture fails to mention are as follows:
1) PLANNING: the forcing of our hand to set and have resolutions doesn’t necessarily come with the requirement of planning, and Godly planning at that.
2) DO or DO NOT: the cultural definition of a resolution leaves half of the defining purpose of a resolution out of the mix, which is not only the firm decision to do something, but also is the firm decision to not do something. Our culture has a daunting idea that we can only become better by adding to our list of accomplishments. Have you ever noticed that so many of the resolutions set are totally ignored and forgotten about; failed rather quickly? And the resolutions that fail seem to really affect how an individual feels about whether or not they can accomplish anything at all? This is the result of either not planning, not seeing a resolution as a healthy loss rather than a gain, or a combination of both.
PLANNING: Without appropriate planning we cannot execute with clear thinking. What type of hope do we want to tackle our resolutions with, or what type of hope do we need to? Godly hope? Godly positivity? Or are we already looking at this mental effort as a task we need to accomplish based simply on the fact that we believe it means better for us, or because we proclaimed it, so accomplishment is all that’s left? If the gain or loss via a resolution isn’t appropriately planned, offered, and encouraged by God, is the accomplishment we may find in a resolution even worth attempting, let alone accomplishing? We are all on a moving train whether we like it or not, but what makes up the substance of your coal that is fueling the train? Christ’s purpose for us, not detailed in us as an individual alone, but His purpose for us as members of His creation is happiness and positivity in Him, first and alone. That is what moves accomplishing a goal along, Christ as the fuel for the moving train. Through avenues of planning, and planning with Christ, for our resolutions, we can look to His accountability and set a goal which can be a healthy gain or loss, fully accomplished and pleasing in Him and with Him, which is most pleasing to Him.
DO or DO NOT: the true definition of a resolution states that the firm decision to approach a goal is to approach it in pure commitment, whether it be to gain something or lose something in our lives. It isn’t ironic that New Year resolutions either are accomplished totally or become a forgotten about disaster pushed away for another time. Sure it happens, but very rarely have I run into someone struggling for his or her resolution to stay alive with a true, honest and open fight and effort. Culturally, we give up too easy, and that is because the idea of a cultural resolution is the gain and wins over something, as if we are collecting accomplishments for life’s rank. Therefore, what type of resolution can you set when you know that the word itself means 100% commitment, rather than 100% accomplishment? With commitment being the main factor of a resolution, we can be 100% committed to losing something that may be hindering us as well, is that not an accomplishment in itself? This alters the way we will set these resolutions in the future. Maybe there is something keeping a wedge between a closer relationship of us and Christ? Maybe a little habit we have, that isn’t such a big dea, can be broken, and with that time we can create a big, great habit?
Plan with Jesus, plan for Jesus. Steer clear of gaining accomplishments and be willing to surrender and sacrifice, and Christ-centered resolutions will become true, Christ-centered victories.