This is an interesting time of year. New Year’s celebrations have come and gone. For many, this time of year brings what have become known as “New Year’s Resolutions”. I have thinking about this idea in the context of our culture. You see, it seems that there is a general flaw in this thinking. Not for all maybe, but certainly for many. There is even a well-known insurance company that is running a series of ads based on the premise that, “…resolutions are made to be broken.”
This is the issue. Too many New Year’s resolutions are simply an expression of some vague hope or desire for change. There is no real plan, no measurable element to determine weather or not a resolution is being met. Then, rather than face the possible admission of failure, many simply fall back to: “Oh well, resolutions are made to be broken.”
I also see a biblical issue. For me, a resolution is much like a vow. When I looked up “resolution’ in an online dictionary the definition was: “A firm decision to do or not to do something.” (https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/resolution) When I then looked up “vow” the definition comes back: “A solemn promise.” (https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/vow)
This is where I see the biblical issue coming in; whenever you make a resolution related to spiritual things.
In reading scripture, it seems to me that any time you make a resolution related to spiritual things, God views that as a vow. God takes vows very seriously! If you make a spiritual resolution, be prepared to be held accountable for its completion!
For me, goals are a far better approach to change. Goals are measurable, attainable targets to accomplish change. When you set a goal, you can then set benchmarks that will help you assess how you are progressing toward that goal. In my experience it is helpful to be able to say I have partially met a goal rather than I have failed completely in keeping a resolution.
So, I do not make personal resolutions, New Year’s or otherwise. If God so moves me I will make a vow, as I did nearly 35 years ago standing with my wife. For the most part, I set goals. I am still prayerfully considering my goals for 2018. Some are in place, others are in process.
What about you? What would you like to see God do in and through you in 2018? Think about setting goals to help you see those things come about in the months ahead.