The lyrics to one of my favorite hymns begin with “I am resolved no longer to linger, charmed by the world’s delights…” Each new year, the majority of the American population engages in a frenzy of resoulution-making. Every February, the majority of those resolutions are forgotten. I started off this year rather apathetic towards resolutions. On Facebook, I posted that my resolution was to love God and love people. This glib resolution was, in theory, all-encompassing.
Nearly two weeks later, my resolutions are slightly more defined. While traveling to Colorado and spending seemingly endless hours crammed with five other people into a minivan, I discovered several key areas of needed growth. Initially, my attitude was more of arrogance and fixing others than of humility and a searching for grace and growth. As the long miles wore on, I began to reflect. Where do my words antagonize more than calm? Where do I create emnity and discontentment rather than joy? What areas of laziness and sin need to he addressed?
2 Peter 1 was the topic of discussion by the pastor of Life Fellowship church where we stopped en route. This passage is one that I studied for two years during Bible school, one that I have memorized, and, unfortunately, one that I often overlook out of familiarity. Francis Chan gives a frightening example of the paradox of Christian “obedience” when he says that parents asking their daughter to clean her room will not be satisfied if the daughter comes back to them saying, “I memorized what you said. You said, ‘Go clean your room.'” In the same way, if the daughter comes to them and says, “I started a study group with my friends and discussed what it would look like if I cleaned my room,” that won’t fly. How dare I go to my Heavenly Father memorizing and studying but never truly obeying.
With that in mind, I am resolved to:
– apply 2 Peter 1 so that I will no longer be blind, nearsighted, and unfruitful. – read books (specifically, my goal is 3 books per month)
– speak truth IN LOVE (this means the reforming of my tongue to speak only that which will glorify God instead of those things that discourage, incite emnity, or are unedifying) – seek to serve others and give joy regardless of circumstances
I am confident that there are many other areas of my life that require reformation, grace, and growth. This is merely a beginning. There are distinct goals that I would love to attain physically and educationally, but those things must come second. Most of all, I desire to nuture a passion for Christ in my heart in all areas of my life, engendering obedience and love for God and others that lasts beyond February-even for a lifetime.