FAITH & REFLECTION — We are standing on the threshold of 2016! We view a New Year as a new beginning…an opportunity to start over…to let go of a nasty habit or do better at something in which we are faltering. We make resolutions with respect to weight loss (the perennial number 1 resolution) parenting, spousal relationships, prioritizing and time management.
However, polls and surveys reveal that most people have become disillusioned about New Year’s resolutions. There is good reason for disillusionment; most resolutions are broken and abandoned after, not weeks, but days and while nothing succeeds like success, nothing flops like failure. Consequently, previous good intentions have been replaced by, “Oh, what’s the use?!”
I’m a natural pessimist, but an intentional and persistent optimist, so there must be a better approach to this whole matter. First, there is nothing wrong with making a resolution. A resolution is defined as “a firm decision to do or not to do something.” What’s the problem then? There is no problem with resolutions. Resolutions are good. There is a problem with follow-up. A resolution is a decision, but it needs to be guided by direction and followed up with determination. The word is commitment!
Commitment is defined as “an engagement or obligation that restricts freedom of action.” You see the problem right away, don’t you? The words restrict and freedom collide in the most obtuse fashion. In simplest terms, it is saying that if I wish to keep my resolution, I must engage in a commitment and that commitment, suggests, even demands, that I won’t get to do whatever I want to do, whenever I want to do it…and that does not suit my self-serving human nature.
How challenging! If this were the Red Green Show, we would reach for a roll of duct tape…but this is Faith and Reflection, so I reach for my Bible. The Bible teaches that life is not about ownership and control, but stewardship and service. Stewardship proposes that everything that I have has been given to me from God and the best way, pardon me, the only way to successfully administrate these gifts is to give them back to Him. He is the owner, I am the manager.
If you are asking, “How in the world do I do that?”, let me share two verses of Scripture and a promise to revisit this topic next week.
“God, Teach us to number our days and recognize how few they are; help us to spend them as we should” (Psalm 90:12) & “So then, my friends, because of God’s great mercy to us I appeal to you: Offer yourselves as a living sacrifice to God, dedicated to His service” (Romans 12:1).
Happy New Year!