Musings on Resolutions

Whether you make New Year’s resolutions or not, it’s worth taking time to ponder.

Many have already made their resolutions for the coming year, and they’ve seemed to maintain the status quo of the Top 5. Below are those made for 2014.

  • Lose weight
  • Get organized
  • Spend less, save more
  • Enjoy life
  • Stay fit and healthy

It’s interesting to consider that each has much more to do with better our own lives than to invest in the life of another.

Other may choose to create a different list that focuses on others.

  • Spend more time with family
  • Be more involved in church
  • Volunteer to help others
  • Give more to an organization
  • Interact more with neighbors

Yet, even if we choose to create a more “unselfish” list, what would be our reason? Would it be to feel better about ourselves because of what we did for or with others?

Lists may be worthwhile in our goals and planning, but what matters most is our motivation – what drives us to make our resolutions.

In a results-focused society, we tend to skip to the end. We want something practical and measurable. We want to be able to say – “I completed my goal.” But perhaps the greatest goals are those for which we will not see the completion here on Earth.

In considering Paul’s words to the Corinthians, he explains his motivation – his resolution:

When I came to you, brothers, did not come with eloquence or superior wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. I came to you in weakness and fear, and with much trembling. My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on men’s wisdom, but on God’s power.

1 Corinthians 2:1-5

Paul’s motivation and resolution was to know Jesus. Anything he did would flow from this “knowing” and relationship with his Savior. He didn’t trust in himself to accomplish the tasks laid before him. He didn’t commit to studying and replicating the strategies of other men to determine the path forward. Paul describes his coming to the Corinthians in powerfully descriptive terms – weakness, fear, and trembling.

In all my years as a follower of Jesus, I’m amazed at how God continues to teach me through the Holy Spirit about the life, mission and ministry of Jesus who was crucified. Yet I’ve also been surprised to hear some say, “I know the story about Jesus; it’s basic. I need more ‘meat.’”

Perhaps as we ponder the idea of resolutions for the coming year, we ought to consider our motivation. Maybe we ought to consider a goal that can hardly be measured. Should we not rethink our desire to move past the “basics,” beyond Jesus, and determine wholeheartedly to press into Him instead?

Such a resolution should not be taken lightly nor with vain pride or self-praise. Rather, we should look into the New Year knowing our weakness, fear and trembling and pressing into our Savior’s strength, love, and grace.

May our motivation and resolve rest in Jesus Christ and Him crucified, and may God’s power and glory be revealed to all those who walk with us.

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