Wednesday, December 26, 2012

I am Resolved

New-Year Resolutions list
Now that Christmas is over, our minds turn to the fast approaching New Year.  I'm not a night owl, so I probably won't be staying up to ring in the new year. However, I will eat black-eyed peas (for luck), turnip greens (for cash), and cornbread (because it goes well with beans).  Of course, we don't believe the superstitions, but it surely is a good meal!  Another New Years tradition that many people observe is the making of resolutions.  Many of those resolutions have to do with diet or exercise, but I have heard some people resolve to be kinder to their children or more romantic with their spouse. 

I've never cared for New Year's resolutions.  It isn't because I shouldn't resolve to be a healthier eater, more active, or a kinder mother.  It's because New Year's resolutions feed into my already bad habit of "waiting until the right time" to take some needed action.  I am notorious about it.  For instance, I may need a chore schedule to help me keep my house clean, but I couldn't start that on a Tuesday!  Oh, no, I have to start on a Monday with a house that is already clean.  Maybe I resolve to be more hospitable.  That has to wait until after the busy holiday season, though.  I can't have someone coming into my home when I have Christmas mess everywhere (trust me, I make a big Christmas mess). 

When I think about Christians and resolutions, I think about this song:

I am resolved no longer to linger,
Charmed by the world's delight,
Things that are higher, things that are nobler,
These have allured my sight.

I will hasten to Him, hasten so glad and free;
Jesus, greatest, highest, I will come to Thee.
(Palmer Hartsough, in The Praise Hymnal (Cincinnati, Ohio: Fillmore Brothers, 1896). 

While this favorite hymn does not mention a measurable goal, it does make one important point.   We need to hasten to Jesus.  When Jesus was on earth, He made it quite clear that we can't wait to follow him.  When a prospective follower asked to bury his father first, Jesus replied "Follow Me, and allow the dead to bury their own dead" (Matthew 8:22). 

In his letter to the scattered Christians, James told us plainly why we cannot wait to make spiritual resolutions. "Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away. Instead, you ought to say, 'If the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that.' But as it is, you boast in your arrogance; all such boasting is evil. Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin" (James 4:14-17).  I had never connected the first and last verses of this passage until now.  If we are not doing the right thing now, we are sinning because we don't know if we'll have tomorrow to do it!

Since tomorrow is uncertain, the most important decisions must be made today.  We have generally assumed that our readers are Christians.  However, I don't feel like I can let this opportunity pass me by.  If you have been considering making the decision to follow Christ and put Him on in baptism, please don't make that a New Year's resolution.  The Mayans were wrong, but we still aren't guaranteed to see 2013.  "Behold, now is the day of salvation" (2 Corinthians 6:2).  If you have any questions at all, feel free to email us at  And then Go!  Hasten to Him!

Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE(R), Copyright(c) 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. 

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