I’ve always been a fan of New Year’s. I’m not necessarily talking about the big events like they do in Times Square (although I do like to watch the ball drop on TV!). No, for me it’s all about the ‘new’ – the possibilities that it brings. A new year is a chance to make changes, to do something different, to be different.
So, as you might imagine, I have made a few resolutions over the years. As I’ve started to consider the changes I want to make for 2018, I realized that this process can become very self-centered if I’m not careful. For example, I may set a goal of getting in better shape – to get to a specific weight, to be able to run a marathon, etc. Whatever I choose may certainly be a worthwhile pursuit, but the question I have to ask myself is, “Why?” Is it just so I can feel a little better about myself (assuming I achieve it)? Or are my goals rooted in God’s call on my life?
This year, I’m taking a different approach. I’m in the process of prayerfully writing specific goals for the various aspects of my life: spiritual, physical, vocational, financial, etc. For each of these, I’m writing a one-sentence description of the principle behind each goal, and linking it to the Greatest Commandment (Mark 12:29-31) and the Great Commission (Matt 28:18-20). For example, for my physical goal, the principle I wrote was, “Grow in strength and stamina so I am able to serve God’s Mission in my life.” For my vocational goal, the principle is, “Steward well the gifts God has given me in order to be a blessing to others.”
As you consider what resolutions you may want to make for 2018, I hope you will put God and His Mission at the center of all of them. What are the ‘good works’ that He has already prepared in advance for you (Eph 2:10)? Whatever they might be, I pray that He will enable them to come to fruition for the sake of His Kingdom!