I've been reading the blogs the last couple of weeks. And I've been comparing them with with blogs/articles/op eds from years gone by. Nothing has changed--much.
It didn't take long to compile a list of the 10 most declared resolutions. Got #1? That's it--Lose Weight. Without exception, in every list losing weight was there somewhere. The other 9 might be predictable as well. How many of these would you have guessed?
1. Lose Weight
2. Financial Related: Save Money or Reduce Debt
3. Getter a Better Job
4. Go Back to School
5. Manage Stress Better
7. Spend More Time With Family
8. Exercise More (could be tied to weight loss)
9. Stop Procrastinating
10. Be More Healthy (Stop Smoking, Drinking, etc.)
Time Magazine posted an article online on five resolutions that might actually work. All the ideas were related to healthier living. For example, to eat better they suggest getting a subscription to a fruit of the month club. This would force you to eat healthier. Another idea was get a dog. This would force you to go on walks. Another idea that gave me pause was giving a friend access to your checking account so that he/she could withdraw money when it is observed you're off your diet or not exercising. I guess that would have to be a friend you really trusted.
In 2011, George Barna noted striking research about what was missing from people's resolution lists. "Only 9 out of more than 1,000 survey respondents mentioned that one of their objectives for next year was getting closer to God in some way. Even in the rare instance when people mention spiritual goals, it is often about activity undertaken for God rather than a personal pursuit of God or an experience with God."
Did you know the Apostle Paul had a resolution? In 1 Corinthians 2:2 he writes, "For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified" (NIV).
Know Jesus. Because in the end that's all that matters. Not the latest gossip. Not all your years of labor and sacrifice for the church. Not your position in the church. Not whether or not you like your pastor. No. What matters is do you know Jesus--I mean, really know Him.
In consideration of the Apostle Paul's resolution, I've come up with 5 resolutions I will keep in the New Year.
1. I am resolved to spend even more time in Bible Study and Prayer. The Bible is the rule for my faith. Some have called it God's love letter to us. And I want to be closer to God more than ever.
2. I am resolved to develop more authentic relationships with my church and community.
3. I am resolved to love the "unlovable." You know who I'm talking about. Some people are easier to love than others. But I'm going to love all people like Jesus did--or at least try.
4. I am resolved to pray for my enemies. Not everybody likes me. And they don't have to. But I can pray for them.
5. I am resolved to witness to Jesus' love in practical ways every day. I want to bring people Jesus in the coming year.
Would you join me in these?