New Year’s Perspectives

At first glance it might seem a little odd writing a post dealing with New Year’s resolutions on January 8th. Shouldn’t this have been done, say on the 1st?

Possibly. But New Year’s resolutions tend to, shall we say, fall off as time progresses. On the 1st our “resolve” is quite strong and fully motivated. By the 5th it has weakened some. And by February 1st you’ve probably forgotten what you “resolved” to do in the first place.

So, perhaps this finds you in a moment where your thoughtfulness and motivation have waned regarding your resolutions.

Here are a few interesting articles (along with a few brief thoughts) that I found helpful in the past week:

David Powlison – We at The Crossing like Powlison a lot. Here’s a post from over a year ago laying out some of his thoughts on resolutions. A few highlights –

“Furthermore, whether petty or profound, New Year’s resolutions express purely individualistic intentions. A self-improvement plan finds no corporate context for commitment, no reasons for joint effort and mutual accountability, and no participation in a common cause bigger than any and all of us.”

“What is a resolution?…(it) means coming to a firm and determined decision to do something, to behave in a certain manner, to abide by certain principles. That sounds decidedly Christian.”

So we must be careful that our resolutions aren’t solely individual and self-serving, but made within the convictions of our faith.

Paul Tripp – Here he speaks on “trading 1 dramatic resolution for 10,000 little ones,” reminding us that most of life is lived in the mundane. A few excerpts –

“Most of us won’t be written up in history books. Most of us only make three or four momentous decisions in our lives, and several decades after we die, the people we leave behind will struggle to remember the event of our lives. You and I live in little moments…”

“Yes, you and I need to be committed to change, but not in a way that hopes for a big event of transformation, but in a way that finds joy in and is faithful to a day-by-day, step-by-step process of insight, confession, repentance and faith.”

As Christians, if we’re going to make a resolution at all, reading our Bibles regularly ought to be at the top of the list annually. Here are a few helpful resources in that endeavor –

Donald Whitney’s Bible Reading Record – Less a plan, and more a record keeper. You mark off chapters of the Bible as you read them at whatever pace you read them. But this helps you keep track of what you’ve read and haven’t.

D.A. Carson’s Love of God Blog – Here’s a blog through Carson’s devotional book which keeps in line with a daily reading plan along with a few thoughts from Carson each day.

ESV Reading Plans – Here are multiple options for reading the Bible in a year.

And finally, a reminder of the Apostle Paul’s “resolution.”

“For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.” ~ 1 Corinthians 2:2.

If we resolve anything this year, may it be this first, and all others secondary.

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