New Year! Now what?!

I love the fact that the beginning of a new year is such an important thing in this world. (Insert sarcastic inflection.) In truth I have come to the point that I am sick of the obsession of people with this trend. In the interest of honesty I have to acknowledge that I have been caught up with this trend in the past. The ideology behind this trend sounds so good at first that it is difficult to see why it is actually a very bad thing.

Most analyses I have seen of the most common resolutions for the last few years have been relatively similar to those in years past. Take into account the fact that in many cases the same resolution is being made by the same individuals year after year and you see that it is basically a meaningless tradition empowered by hype. Although that is enough to make me have a healthy disdain for the New Year resolution idea, I also have a more serious problem with it.

I am a person who loves the big picture and struggles with the details. (Translated this means that I have a million projects started that I have yet to finish.) 😦 Beyond that I think that many Christians are the same way. We see the need to learn and grow and yet we put off the actual work of Spiritual growth. We know that there are sins in our lives that we despise and see as un-conquerable. Yet how many times have we tackled these seeming giants in our lives only to fall again and feel as if we were the biggest failures in the world?

Well, to be honest I think that this is the same mentality that is prevalent in the New Year’s resolution area. We want to do well. We want to read more, lose weight, exercise regularly, and so much more but about the middle of January these resolutions have been cast aside and left behind in the wake of what we often call the reality of life. Some analysts suggest that many fail because they set themselves up to fail. They set unrealistic goals and of course fail to make things happen and so discouraged yet again they quit.

While I am not suggesting that being overweight or ill-read, or out of shape are good things I do believe that they are not nearly as important as other matters. Matters of the heart and soul. Yet because we have fallen prey to the trap of the New Year resolution mentality in our Spiritual walk we set aside goals that we know we NEED to achieve simply making excuses in order to appease our (once again) guilty consciences. Let’s not fall prey to this worldly pattern. Let’s set out, not on a resolution spree, but on a purposeful decision before God to honor and love Him. When we as simple specks of dust stand before the creator we get the true perspective we need, and suddenly those giants in our lives are seen as what they truly are.

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8 Comments

Filed under General Thoughts

8 responses to “New Year! Now what?!

  1. Scott

    You know, I’ve been reading on this very topic of coming up against things in our lives and turning the other way and running from them because they are too difficult. When I finish the book I’ll try to post on it, but don’t hold your breath, because the rate at which I read is not what you would call fast. In fact, one of my resolutions this year is to read more! 🙂

  2. So does that mean a more ‘spiritual’ New Years resolution is fine with you; or, does that still fall under an unrealistic expectation?

    Seriously, if my resolution is to focus more on helping others, giving more, or stilling my temper. Isn’t that honoring God and choosing to follow His ways? Or since its a resolution, my heart is not completely in it.

  3. Well, if you notice I never said that New Year’s resolutions were bad things. I was simply trying to point out a trend that seems to pervade Christendom which also happens to be less than good.

    Also if there is a problem in one’s character one should address it as soon as there is an awareness of the problem. I should also point out that this is merely the opinion of one person. (Granted that because that person is me it is a very important opinion. JK) Along with that it is also necessary to point out that a resolution is not the same as a commitment to obedience to the leading of the Holy Spirit.

    Overall my point was to express my personal perception that the world has again permeated the church in a subtle yet insidious way.

  4. Valid points.

    You are right that character issues should be resolved immediately and that a resolution and a commitment are distinct acts… although to be resolved is technically a stronger term than to be committed 🙂

    Being resolved means to make a clear decision. Also carries the connotation of being separate from something.

    Committed means that you do something out of an obligation.

    However in our present day vernacular these terms have been reversed (probably because people are not resolved to do anything anymore). Funny how culture affects our words huh?

    Anyway, all that to say I agree with you that culture has once again successfully eroded our churches.

  5. Leave it to you to come up with a technicality! 🙂

    Seriously though, I was looking at the words NOT from their textbook definition but rather from their current connotative meaning.

    Two questions though.

    1. How does resolution imply separation? (Or is it just a fundy thing?)

    2. Are we not obligated to obey the commands of God?

  6. That’s the dictionary definition of resolved.
    http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/resolved

    : to reach a firm decision about
    : to become separated into component parts; also : to become reduced by dissolving or analysis
    : to progress from dissonance to consonance

    I like that last one the best… its a musical term 😀

    Anyway, clarification on the separation aspect. Think more like resolving something down to a specific separate part within the greater whole. So the connection to separation is a stretch… my fault; but it is there.

    Of course we are obligated to obey God’s commands (haven’t you been reading my current posts on that very subject?)

    Don’t you remember all those talks about how people today have eroded the very truth of Scripture due to semantics. You see the present day use of a term, the textbook use of a term, the reformers, the Hyper-Calvinists, the Arminians, the Mormons, and the Baptists use of a term are all different.

    And that is what I would be attacking, how a resolution used to mean something. And now due to the eroding of our culture, our semantics (if you will), we have relegated our obligations to a once a year resolution which is often broken before we reach the door.

    You are absolutely correct that we are doing a disservice to God by not committing ourselves to change the minute we see a problem. Personally, I would have just hit the issue from a different perspective. I completely agree with your thoughts that our commitments need to be meaningful.

  7. You know for a guy who is agreeing with me you sure are picky about it! LOL.

    Good points.

    Since language is a fluid thing and it continually changes I was more trying to use the common meaning. I guess that the problem is that this may be the common meaning here but not everywhere.

    I guess the argument is that you can try to make scripture say something it does not but at some point you will paint yourself into a corner. With the prevalence of post-modern relativism it is now easy to say well that was true yesterday but not today. I can worry about how someone will interpret what I am saying or I can say what I believe and let people do with it as they will. In the end all that matters is the unchanging truth of the scriptures.

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