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Afraid of New Year Resolutions?

December 26th, 2007

“Do you remember the Sunday School lesson you taught us at the beginning of this year?” One of my young adult Sunday School students asked me last week. I was embarrassed to say I do not even remember my own lesson!

Yet, this was a lesson that this student remembered all year. She told me that at the beginning of the year, I challenged her to a “New Year Resolution” and she has been acting on it throughout the year.

While I’ve made many resolutions that have not been kept – forget the diet and exercise thing! – I do like to encourage my children to choose one thing that they would like to work on this year – just one.

For myself, I like to set a “theme” that I would like to characterize my year. For example, this year I have been thinking of the concept of community as it relates to our church group. I did not know this at the beginning of the year, but now looking back, I see that throughout the year, my idea of community had been challenged again and again as our church faced many difficulties. So this year, it was a year of deepening my understanding of being committed to a community of Christian believers.

For my children I ask them to think of one “theme” they would like to work on. For example, my daughter wants to be more disciplined, my son wants to make better use of his time. I have to admit we have not been very successful at following up with these resolutions.

However, even if we do not consciously work on our resolutions, there is value in thinking about how we’d like to improve ourselves. I think when God sees that we have a desire to grow, He will place opportunities in our way throughout the year for us to be challenged in those areas. At the end of the year, we will look back and realize that though we did not purposely work on our resolution, somehow God orchestrated our lives to that end. I think it’s pretty amazing.

Some would argue that resolutions should be measurable so we can track our progress. I prefer to choose unmeasurable goals, such as a character trait, because many important things in life are not measurable. For example, one year, my “theme” for myself was generosity. I did not want to measure how much money I would give even though that would be a good measure. I wanted to work on a holistic attitude of being generous – with my time, my affections, my talents – that are not tangible.

So as we begin a new year, I challenge you to think about something about yourself that you would like to improve.

Please share any ideas you have here with us to challenge us in our thinking.

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  1. thanks for the rebelution link!! it’s really inspiring and it’s totally a movement that i think many teens need to get into.


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