If you are struggling to come up with good New Year’s resolutions, here are a few suggestions for your list. Feel assured you will keep them:
• I will no longer cause global warming singlehandedly.
• I will no longer wear a bacon costume and tease the dancing bear.
• I will no longer play baseball with a hand grenade and a loaded rocket launcher.
• I will use a lot more deodorant and wash my clothes much less often.
• I will never again take sleeping pills and a laxative on the same night.
And, finally, from Jay Leno:
Now there are more overweight people in America than average-weight people. So, overweight people are now average. . . which means, you have met your New Year’s resolution!
Resolutions arise out of areas of our lives in which we are discontent. We see things we do not like about ourselves, and we set a New Year’s goal to change. As much as we poke fun at our failure to keep these resolutions, they are windows into our hearts as to what is really important to us. For example:
• A resolution to lose weight tells us we are either concerned for our health or how we appear to people.
• A resolution to go to bed earlier and get up earlier speaks to our concern that we lack discipline.
• A resolution to save more each month reveals a personal concern for our self-control with money.
Our resolutions tend to address personal concerns, but what about our community and country? How discontent are we with the spiritual condition and trends in our neighborhood and nation?
Most people, even Christians, are concerned, but not enough to move them to any drastic action — at least, until it is at their front door.
That was true in Manchester, Kentucky in the mid-2000s. Churches were more concerned with their Sunday attendance than the growing corruption in all levels of government, stemming from an out-of-control drug epidemic.
Not until the children of all classes - not just the poor - began to die from overdoses and accidents, did the community react. By then, 90% of the high school student body was affected in some way by drugs and alcohol, and the little white crosses along the highways from the deaths of their young people began to look like picket fences.
The community was overrun, and under the control of drug dealers, and no educational program or community initiative would be able to deliver them. So they began to cry out to God — not just one church, but many; not just born-again Christians, but even some pre-Christians.
God heard and did what no man could do. If the community wrote a resolution, it would have been this: “Resolved — to no longer be complacent, and to cry out to God until He answers.”
So, how discontent are you with the state of things in your city, state, or nation? What resolution would you dare to make for this year for your community? The Sentinel Group is here to serve you with these kinds of commitments. We offer training with the Journey to Transformation.
The upcoming Hope At the Crossroads conference in April will allow you to learn from those whom God used in their communities to spur transformation.
Oscar Wilde made this observation about resolutions: Good resolutions are simply checks that men draw on a bank where they have no account.
But God resolutions are checks men draw on the bank of heaven where there are limitless resources.
Oh, that next year at this time, we would be rehearsing the stories of what God has done to change the course of our communities! Our resolutions would then be fueled not by discontentment, but simply by a holy hunger for God to do more.