I googled “Resolutions for 2019″ and got 778,000,000 results in 0.70 seconds.
A cursory glance offered advice from major newspapers, magazines, and media outlets. There were suggestions from motivational writers, political pundits and just ordinary folks. I saw ideas for financial resolutions. Retirement resolutions. Career resolutions. Health and wellness resolutions. And personal resolutions.
The reality is that most of the time our resolutions are broken, discarded or even forgotten before January ends.
Writer and preacher Leonard Sweet offers this pertinent observation about the challenge of our resolutions. “Most ‘resolutions’ we make are self-directed: get thinner, work smarter, be stronger, take control of your life. We want to make changes that will help us, improve us, and bring us good feelings about ourselves.“
Maybe there is a better way. Be principle-driven by your core values.
However, with our hurried and harried lives with task lists that are full, we often find ourselves scattered and doing things that don’t necessarily reflect our purpose and priorities. With no margin, we become reactive instead of proactive. The result is mental, emotional, physical and even spiritual exhaustion.
What if in 2019 you decided to take God seriously? Put Him in the center of your life? Aligned your activities with His eternal purpose for you? And resolved to put Him, His will, His Word and a daily walk with Him as your #1 priority?
How would it change your thinking? Your schedule? Your family life? Your work? Your relationships? Your commitments?
When Jesus was asked, “What is the greatest commandment?” His response was focused on principle. A core value. A rule for life.
“‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.” (Matt 22:37-40)
When God is at the center of our lives, do we really need a resolution that reminds us to read His Word? To pray? To worship? To give? To do good?
All of that said, we are not discounting tools that help us. Motivate us. Inspire us. And keep our lives aligned with our priorities. Yet, realize that the virtue is not in the chart, list or resolution, but in our values that drive us.
I recently read that “goals are overrated; commitments are underrated.” There’s a big difference between goals and commitments. A goal is something you want to achieve. Commitment speaks to the core of one’s values. It involves the mind, emotions and will of a person. I once heard it expressed this way: “Commitment is sticking to something long after the emotion of the moment you said it has passed.”
When our commitments are in harmony with our spiritual focus, we will find fulfillment, experience peace, and discover true significance in life.
Moses’ warning to ancient Israel is a good reminder for our modern generation.
Take heed, and keep your soul diligently,
lest you forget the things which your eyes have seen,
and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life.
Happy New Year everyone!
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman