Published 3:32 pm Thursday, January 4, 2024
This week began a new year, and it seems that every year at this time, I think about changes I need and want to make in my life. I believe that good and positive change is good for all people especially Christians. However, it is not something that the Child of God should do just once a year, but it is something that we should do a few times throughout the year. Paul expresses this sentiment in 2 Corinthians 13:5.
But what are resolutions? They are plans that we make which are designed to improve our lives. Most resolutions we make are directed toward physical changes that we want to make in our lives. But have we ever considered making spiritual resolutions? The idea is scriptural because Paul said that all things work together for good in Romans 8:28. Then in Ephesians 3:9-11 he reminds us that God had eternal plans. That is, He resolved to do something and then He did it. The Proverbs writer reminds us in Proverbs 21:5 KJV, “The thoughts of the diligent tend only to plenteousness; but of every one that is hasty only to want.” Then in Proverb 16:9 KJV, “A man’s heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps.” So planning is a good thing if we remind ourselves to involve God in the planning. Then in Luke 14:28-30, while discussing the cost of being a disciple Jesus said, “For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it, lest, after he has laid the foundation, and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’” Planning will help us to succeed in our resolutions.
However, our resolutions must begin with a sincere self-examination (2 Corinthians 13:5 KJV). When we self-examine we are able to know how good we did in the previous year and helps us to see what we need to do in the coming year. If we don’t follow this rule we are sure to fail.
Some fail because they are in denial. That is they have not fully believed that they need to change. These are people that know on the surface they need to change and that it would be good, but down deep they don’t really see the need, their hearts are not in it. This happens because change, regardless of how good it may be for us is hard. So rather than make a meaningful change with effort, some seek the easy way out which usually results in failure.
Resolutions can be accomplished when we are totally honest with ourselves. This may demand that we change the way we think. We need to MAKE UP OUR MIND that we are going to change, and be willing to take the necessary steps to make that happen (Romans 12:2). This is easier when we form a reasonable plan that we know we can accomplish. To go beyond what is reasonable leads to failure. Once we have a plan, we execute it step by step. Each step building on the previous allowing us to see what we have accomplished and what we yet lack.
As we consider resolutions there may be things we need to stop (Hebrews 12:1, Ephesians 4:22). The problem is that people have a tendency to want to hang on to what they know, even if it is bad for them. If there is something physical or spiritual in our lives that hinder us we should put them away for our own good (1 John 3:9, 1 Corinthians 15:35, Acts 8:22). True resolution demands that we never overlook the bad in our lives.
Our problem may be more on the side that there are things we need to do that we have not yet done. When we stand before God in judgment, He is not only going to consider what we did wrong, but also what we did not do right. There are some important things that all men should start. All men should hear God and believe that Jesus is His Son, repent of sin, confess Jesus as the Son of God and be baptized into Jesus. Then each should live a faithful life to God.
The year is new, and it is a good time to make resolutions. Are there resolutions you need to make? If so, then why not do it today.
(Tony Hoss is minister of the Centerview Church of Christ, Elizabethton)