The problem with New Year’s resolutions isn’t that they’re easy to make and difficult to keep — which is true on both counts — it’s that we feel like such failures when we fall, and give up, mid-February, on the notion of changing for the better.
For this reason, I don’t make New Year’s Resolutions. This is not to say, however, that I don’t purpose to change myself — I do, all the time, with this major caveat:
I don’t worry about changing me.
I let God change me.
And that He does. Some nine years ago, He approached the process with a purpose beyond anything you’d read about in a pop-Christian book. Gently, yet inexorably, He used the circumstances in my life to drive me back to Him, and because I spent a significant amount of time fretting, worrying, railing, ranting, and being incredibly anxious, it took awhile for certain life lessons to get through and stick.
But God is patient, and while I was more than ready for lesson time to be all over now, thank you, His day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years to a day. He kept teaching, and eventually, I began learning.
And what I learned taught me three things, three resolutions it is worthy to ask for, because when we ask God, it’s not up to us to see the resolutions through; it’s up to Him.
These are the three New Year’s resolutions worth making:
1) God, wake me up.
2) God, open my eyes.
3) God, unstop my ears.
If you’re ready, in 2015, to walk a narrower path than you thought imaginable, to a higher and better place than you dreamed you could reach, then pray these three prayers.
My prayer is that God’s people will do so, and thereby effect a change — a real change, not the kind of “revival” change that comes and goes after some evangelical speaker campaign that fills football stadiums with weeping people, but a real change, brought about as each individual believer meets with his Father in private, and gives his life, skills, abilities, dreams, and strength over the the One who granted them in the first place.
Please read the full story, which is different than this article, in my Commonsense Christianity article at BeliefNet, Three New Year’s Resolutions You Can Actually Keep.
This is a good time, as well, to say two things to the readers of this column:
1) Thank you, for reading me. Thank you for commenting, thank you for reaching out. I am grateful for you.
2) I am an ordinary, unfunded person who writes what I write because I believe the 21st century evangelical Christian movement to be infected by false teachers and unscrupulous people out to make money — no, not the humble teacher in your church, but yes, possibly that aggressive leader who learned at a big seminary and talks more about “church growth” and “group dynamics” than he does God’s love.
I write to spark discussion, to encourage questioning, to foster doubts against doctrines that need to be doubted, to empower ordinary people to read the Bible for themselves and pray directly to God — with the understanding that He hears and answers them.
I am grateful for every share, every like, ever plus-one, every means of letting others know what I write. If you like something, if it speaks to you, then please, pass it on.