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Resolve Your Resolutions

It's that time of the year! "New year, new me" - as cliché and dated as that statement is I'm sure we'll see it posted about and hear it in passing.

New Years is a time people use to reflect and create goals for improvement. Alternatively, without reflection, people simply vow that the year to come will be better and express eagerness to see the end of the current year. But why do we wait until years end? Ecclesiastes 5:4-5 & Numbers 30:2 instruct us not to delay fulfilling vows and oaths, and to hold to our word and do everything we said we would. So what holds us back?

I believe what holds us back is the comparison trap. Luke 18:18-27 introduces us to the rich young ruler. He's resolved to inherit eternal life so he rightfully inquires with Jesus as to the means of doing so. The responses are encouraging as he realizes he's doing many things correctly. So at what point is he disheartened? Jesus challenges him then to do more - go and sell all he has and give to the poor. Was he not already doing enough? I'm sure in his mind, he was thinking, "well I'm doing more than (insert a biblical era name here)."

Here's the realization the wealthy young ruler needed: we're only in competition with ourselves. If you can do better, do better; think James 4:17. Doing better than someone else isn't always doing your best. That's a downside to competition, we're using someone else's scale to weigh ourselves. For example, James 2:19 (in quite the tone of sarcasm I imagine) states, "You believe that there is one God. Great! So do the demons." So when you present a resolution, question is "so what!?" What separates you from the multitude with the same resolution? Hopefully, results.

Faith without works is dead. Goals without actionable plans are the same. Making a resolution is not the resolution in itself. While I'd like to include all the wisdom of scripture regarding moving on your mentions, here's but a few:

"Death and life are in the power of the tongue"
"By your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned"
"Whoever restrains his lips is prudent"
"Do you see someone who speaks in haste? There is more hope for a fool than for them."

All to say, succeed more than you speak. Your words are your fate, treat them accordingly. Make moves, more than you make mentions. Proverbs 13:4, "a sluggard's appetite is never filled, but the desires of the diligent are fully satisfied" & Proverbs 15:22, "plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisors they succeed" truth be told, if you fail in your resolutions, check yourself - you may be the proverbial sluggard. Get some people in your corner to hold you accountable to your resolutions. Are you succeeding!? "Do not tire of doing good, for at the proper time you will reap a harvest if you do not give up."

"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, they are a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, the old has gone, the new is come." Lamentations 3:22-23 reminds us mercies are new everyday, so don't put off to the end of the year what you can improve at the end of the day.
  

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