News Years Resolutions
New Year’s resolutions don’t work.
It’s simple math, really; hurting people plus good intentions makes for a lot of well-intended failure.
You can’t resolve to do better when your deepest intentions are fallen. That’s why people like the Apostle Paul went straight for our wicked hearts by calling out humanity as utterly in need of a divine Savior (Romans 3:10-28).
Yet, I want to grow; it feels a bit nonsensical to sit on my rear and claim “fallen sinner” while the world falls apart with me in it. The beauty of being saved by grace is that we get to walk in the very grace that changes our hard hearts.
“Let go and let God.”
What a silly statement. God grasps us that he may be grasped by us; he saves us that we might experience our salvation; he takes the wheel, then tells us to put the car in gear. We have a Dad who wants to do life with us.
Grace is a game changer for New Year’s resolutions.
There is still value to approaching 2012 with a desire to move forward; to mature in our thinking, ambitions, spirituality, mission. But instead of resolving to be better people, or do better things,
Why don’t we resolve to enjoy Jesus this year?
This was a paradigm shift for me; it’s so simple, as to be nearly laughable. But the powerful truth of the Christian gospel is that we grow by being transformed in Jesus, not by trying to attain him. And oh, how we easily blur those lines! This is akin to me washing the dishes out of love for my wife, and after letting the years of routine sink in, begin to wash the dishes to prove to her that I’m worth loving. How backwards we have seen God’s love!
I even find my backwards love affecting the day-to-day rhythms of my spirituality.
e.g., Bible reading.
Adorn, our college/young adult gathering on Friday nights, just started a through-the-Bible-in-a-year excursion—which can be interacted with by searching the hashtag, #1yearBible, on Twitter—and even in such a rich pool of Word-driven community, lingers the same danger to revert back to trite religiosity.
How fascinating, and utterly disappointing, that the very things I cultivate to be in relationship to Christ can be turned into an idol against him?
Yes, even the Bible.
So, how do we treat idols? We take them captive to the obedience of Christ (2 Cor. 10:5). I often battle the urge to get my Bible reading “out of the way,” by blasting through verses without paying much attention. Taking thoughts captive to the obedience of Christ in this situation would mean choosing to sit on a particular passage, instead of trying to reach my Scriptural “quota.” I may choose to meditate on a particular verse that stands out to me until I fall at the feet of Jesus in reverence and awe.
It’s going to look different for all of us, but for all of us it will come. January marks all that we’ve tossed away the prior year, with its baggage, to set our record straight in the pursuit of significance. But you and I know, significance is hard to come by.
Jesus, who signifies true purpose, unyielding love, and relentless grace, stands at the door and knocks.