re:solution (part 1)

 Slide1
        
Are you one of those
people who has you put some thought to doing some things differently, and
hopefully better, than last year? 
Each year about 50% of people make some sort of resolution to spend more
time with our family.  66% of
people make a resolution related to losing weight or getting fit.  Millions of people this year are making
the resolution to get out of debt. 
At the beginning of each year people resolve to start some good habits
(like going to the gym or eating more vegetables) and to stop some bad habits
(like fill-in-the-blank”
).   In the first week of January
people can be resolute about throwing away cigarettes or being nicer or getting
more sleep or getting more organized or helping others more than they did the
year before. 

         We
strive to make the coming year better because we know that last year we had
some problems in our lives.  We
might realize that smoking is slowly killing us and so we’ve got to stop. Or
perhaps we realize that we missed opportunities to do good deeds or that we
were too selfish.  We make New
Year’s resolutions in order to bring solutions to last year’s problems.  But it’s interesting to me that we
don’t call them New Year’s “solutions.” 
We call them “resolutions” because we want to resolutely solve our
problems.  But I think we have a
problem with our resolute-ness! 
Our track record on keeping our resolutions is so poor, that perhaps we
should call them “re
” solutions.  After all, the solution we planned out
last year didn’t pan out and we have to do it all over again this year.  We are reworking on our problem.  We are readdressing our issues.  After only 1 week, we fail 75% of the
time to follow up on our resolutions. 
That means, that four days from today, by January 7, most of us will
have already given up our resolve to once again solve our problems.  We aren’t very resolute!  By the end of January, 95% of all our
resolutions will already be broken. 
It’s been said, “A new year is a chance to get a fresh start on some old
habits.”

         Perhaps
you should try a new approach. 
Someone has compiled a top ten list of resolutions you can keep, that
you can actually achieve.  Perhaps
this will help you succeed in the New Year.  Here we go: 

10.
Read less

9.
Put on at least 30 pounds

8.
Stop exercising

7.
Watch more TV

6.
Procrastinate more

5.
Work on your coach potato skills

4.
Increase your debt load

3.
Spend more time at work

2.
Stop bringing lunch from home

1.
Take up a new habit: maybe smoking!

 

         We
know that we need no resolve to mess up our lives even more.  Problem-making comes easy for us.  Problem-re-solving does not.  So on the negative side of things, we
keep making resolutions because we need solutions for our problems.  But on the positive side of things, I
believe we keep making resolutions because we were created problem-free and we
truly want to live that way.  We
know that these problems we have aren’t right.  We know within ourselves that our lives were created to be
good.  Even if we didn’t realize
it, the underlying reason and passion for saying that we want to lose weight or
we want to pay off these debts or we want to spend more time with some
neglected children (our own!) is because we know somewhere down deep inside of
ourselves that these are areas of our lives that aren’t where they are meant to
be and we want them fixed because we were made to live problem-free.  We were created to know joy and peace
and love and security and good health and warmth of relationships and the awe
and wonder of life.  That’s why we
keep trying re:solutions ~ because we truly want to live the way we were originally
created to live. 

         We
believe that God’s hands have made us and formed us.  We were fashioned and created in a very good way.  In His image, God created us, male and
female.  And the image of God is
pretty darn good.  Do you think God
struggles with His life, with His image? 
Do you think God has a problem with chewing His finger nails and says,
“Ah, I’ve got to stop this bad habit this year!”  No, God doesn’t fall short of His own glory.    There is not a situation or
circumstance where God says, “Ah, I’ve really got to work on improving myself
here.”  God is complete within
himself.  He is more than
perfect.  There is no room for
betterment because God is as good as good gets.  And we were made in his image.  We were made to reflect who God is.  We were formed and fashioned and
created by his hands and endowed with the DNA of his glory.  We were looking good and we were good
looking.  We were good together,
male and female. Al Gore would have loved the convenient truth of it all
because we were created in good relationship to this earth.  We were good to creatures and
creation.  We were made free and
good by our God.  In the beginning
we didn’t need to make resolutions to resolve our problems.

         But
a lot has changed since then.  
Now, at the beginning of this year, our innocence has spoiled; our sins
have been hidden; our nakedness has been shamed.  This year, we need God to remake us.  G.K. Chesterton said, “The object of a
new year is not that we should have a new year. It is that we should have a new
soul."

(next part tomorrow…)

Ken Castor

Ken Castor is a husband, dad, pastor, writer and teacher. He serves as a professor at Crown College, Minnesota, where he equips students to pursue Jesus-Centered Faith and Next Generation Ministry. For 20+ years he's focused on equipping the next generations in places like the U.S., Canada, and Northern Ireland. He's the author of Grow Down (Simply Youth Ministry, 2014), Make a Difference (Broadstreet, 2016), the Blue-Letters Editor of the Jesus-Centered Bible (Group, 2015) and numerous other articles and Bible Study guides. But, whenever possible, he gets down on the floor and builds Lego with his kids. Connect with him @kencastor.

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