The majority of the blog posts and articles I’ve been reading for the past month have been anti-resolutions. The theme is pretty consistent — just don’t do it. You will fail, you will get stressed out, you will feel defeated, so just don’t try. Resolve to make no resolutions.
An object at rest tends to stay at rest, and all of the universe tends to decay and confusion. It’s science, it’s the curse, it’s the life we lead.
But not the purpose of our calling in Christ.
Be not conformed to this world, but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
— Romans 12:2, KJV
To put it in the Lea Ann’s Expanded Version, “Stop letting the decay and confusion, sloth and sin, ruin and destruction of this temporary worldly system suck you in, but instead let God change you from the inside out, so that every moment your actions and attitudes will prove to the world around you just how good, just how holy, just how perfect God’s plan really is.”
That’s what our entire Christian life is all about, isn’t it? Allowing God to re-create us into the image of His Son, into the beautiful reflections of God that we were always intended to be.
That is hard work. It involves action, and sweat, and trying, and failing, and falling down, and getting back up more than seven times. It’s painful and it’s glorious, because it’s the working of our faith.
I know we are tired and stressed out. But if we take a moment to consider who wrote Romans 12 (and I Cor. 15:10 and 2 Cor. 12:9-10 and Gal. 5:25 and Eph. 4:17-24 and Phil. 2:12 and I Thess. 4:11-12 and more), we will realize how little we have to complain about compared to the Apostle Paul. He can say, “It’s too hard, I’m too stressed out, I give up this year” after being beaten and stoned and tortured and abandoned and unfairly prosecuted.
In comparison, my middle-class American life is not really something I can complain about, no matter how packed my schedule.
So to return to Paul’s point — we are to be living counter-culturally yet actively while displaying God’s working in us. That’s not a “let go and let God” mentality. It’s active pursuit of holiness and productivity.
That’s why, no matter how many times I fail at the same half-dozen resolutions, I’m making them again this year.
Because I am convinced that working toward Christ-likeness in these areas is, indeed, God’s plan for my life. Giving up is not.
So for 2016, my theme is purpose. God has a purpose for my life, and I want to live that out each hour on purpose.
that which a person sets before himself as an object to be reached or accomplished;
the end or aim to which the view is directed in any plan, measure, or exertion;
view, aim, design, intention, plan.
Be strong in purpose and unmoved,
ever giving yourselves to the work of the Lord,
because you are certain that your work is not without effect in the Lord.
— I Cor. 15:58
For this reason we make it our purpose, in the body or away from it, to be well-pleasing to Him.
— 2 Cor. 5:9
Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly or of necessity, for God loveth a cheerful giver.
— 2 Cor. 9:7
In looking back over the last couple years, I find the goals I didn’t obtain were from squandering my time — not living on purpose. Those days I look back and ask, “What did I do?” or the weeks I made no progress on my goal. The hours spend mindlessly scrolling social media and googling random thoughts. Stress eating, complaining, oversleeping, dawdling. Not on purpose, not my true intentions.
God has a purpose, a divine design, an intimate intention for my life, my time, my day today.
It’s time to live that out on purpose.
Here’s Your Gift!
I made these reminders for my computer, my tablet, my phone, my social media … all those places I’m looking every day. I want to be intentional how I spend my time there, and I want to be prayerful that God’s purpose be worked through me each hour.