The Only Resolution You Need

January 2, 2012

Hey everyone, I’m back! (Along with most of blog-ville).

Hard to believe, but this may be the last time any of us make any New Year’s resolutions…if those sneaky Mayans have their way.  Why aren’t any of the Presidential contenders discussing how to win the war on Mayans.  Ron Paul, I’m looking at you, sir.

So how did 2011 turn out for you?

You probably had some victories and some defeats like me.  You may have had some prayers answered, some unanswered.  365 days ago, you probably set some goals that you either don’t remember today, or you remember how you failed miserably.

Rinse and repeat.  But it doesn’t have to be that way.  Why make the same, pointless resolutions when you can make one that will actually stick.

It’s a Mess, but It’s My Mess

Why do people make goals and resolutions year after year and fail time and again?

It’s like people whose house or desk is a mess, but they say they have a “system.”  There’s a method to the madness.  If they tried to straighten up and get organized, they wouldn’t know where any of their crap is.

That’s what our lives are like.  Sure, we’re a mess.  We’re unhealthy and disorganized and lazy and life’s a mess.  But it’s our mess, dang it!  And we love our mess.  It’s warm and comforting and familiar, like an old dirty blanket.  And if we ever tried to straighten out our mess, we wouldn’t know where anything is.  We’d flip out like the hoarders on cable TV.

We make resolutions to clean up our act, but we love our mess too much.  Heck, we’ve gotten this far with it.  Why change now?

So don’t bother making any resolutions, unless it’s to clean up some mess in your life that you absolutely, positively, cannot stand another moment.  Otherwise, you’ll give up and go right back to wallowing in your old mess.

Only One Resolution

If you want my opinion (and why wouldn’t you?), you should only make one resolution.  This one resolution can apply to everyone, everywhere.  It does not require any physical exercise.  You don’t need to buy any equipment.  It will literally solve just about any of your problems.

My one resolution is this:

Think.

Can we please just think.  Think before you eat.  Think before you speak.  Think before you blog.  Think before you turn on the TV, tell a joke, make a criticism, say a prayer, curse under your breath, spend more money.

Heck, think before you make pointless New Year’s resolutions and waste money on a gym membership you’ll forget about in three weeks…unless you like feeling like a failure.  Is your resolution to be more of a failure?

Most of All

And most of all…

No, He doesn't. "Merry Christmas" is a phrase no more than 400 years old.

Christians, now that Christmas is over, can we try to think before we pick a fight?  Seriously, I’m glad Christmas is over just so we can take a break from all the backbiting.  And hardly any of it makes sense.  As one of my brilliant friends pointed out to me, how does it make sense to try to force non-believers to take the Lord’s name in vain by saying “Merry Christmas?”

Ah, but we enjoy fighting more than thinking.  Fighting is more fun.  If we spent any time thinking, we wouldn’t have nearly as much to fight about.

This year, American Christians will be more tempted than usual to be divisive because it’s an election year.  There will be people all around trying to divide us, and all that division depends on us not doing much thinking.  Can we be a little less eager to fight and be divided over men and women we know relatively little about?

That’s my hope for 2012.  What are yours?  Are you hoping for a breakout with your job, your blog, or your family?  Do you think this is the last resolutions we’ll have to make?

24 responses to The Only Resolution You Need

  1. I thought once. Made me feel uncomfortable. Quit that and went back to my normal way of doing things. I’m fine now.
    John

  2. Mine is similar. Pay attention. (to the work of God in, around through me and others).

  3. I resolved to be nicer to other Christians after a conversation I had with my dad about how the most vicious critics of the Tebows out there seem to be other Christians. Of course, that “thinking” thing you mentioned might help with that.

  4. My husband and I are thinking about living more like Jonathon Edwards–living so far below our means that we can be more generous when God brings a need to our attention. My contribution to that goal is to eat much less than my body currently believes it needs. However, I have a feeling that this will take a few years to fully implement, just like the Advent Conspiracy. So if the Mayans come…

    • That’s awesome! My wife and I were just talking about the whole calorie consumption thing. I found out there are 3500 calories in a pound of body fat. If we just ate a few hundred less calories than we burn, theoretically we’d start losing weight. But that is such a huge barrier! Everything in our bodies tells us to eat, eat, eat, so even a small hurdle like 300 calories feels insurmountable. Good luck!

  5. I was going to post a comment (it was going to say something about how good this idea was) but I have to think about it now.

  6. Oh, goodness. That billboard just made me laugh when I saw it on Facebook. So ridiculous. I wrote about a lot of this same stuff during the week of Christmas, so I definitely agree with you. Less fighting, more loving.

  7. I dunno, I’ll have to think about this one. But maybe that’s your trick? I told my church yesterday to resolve to actually love God and love people. I figure if I can accomplish that one, then I’ve probably knocked out a lot of other resolutions I’d like to have.

  8. Ok, I have to confess that I’m trolling my Google Reader to find ideas for my New Year’s resolutions. My grouping was pathetic, but it’s there. I’m trying to keep it simple this year. The fact is that your plan to simply “think” is simple, straight-forward, and a blessing. Thank you. I will endeavor to make it part of my life.

    • It’s almost deceptively simple. I think most people would say “well duh, of course I think!” But we don’t. We don’t think before we eat. We sit passively in front of the TV and snack without even thinking about how much we’re eating. We have problems with our spouses and children because we speak without thinking. Most of our problems are just because we are quick to act and slow to think.

  9. I like your suggestion, but I’d like to modify it a tad… how about we think… and run it by God for His opinion. No big “on your knees” prayer, just a “hey God, what do YOU think?” I figure He’s a lot smarter than I am!

  10. I don’t know how many times I have asked God to help me to think before I speak.

    It might be for the rest of my life, and that’s fine with me.

    I can say that I don’t say half as muh of the stupid stuff I used to say, thanks be to God.

    But every now and again, something off comes out, but at least not as much.

    Great post..thank you!

  11. This year, I’m gonna work on the crap in my heart. Then, when it’s all cleaned up, I’ll work on the crap in other people’s heart.
    I’ll check back in with you around 2021 to let you know about my progress.

  12. Brilliant! There have been countless problems that I could’ve avoided if I had thought a minute before opening my mouth (or hitting “submit.”)

  13. I am not going to change anything. I love my wife, my kids, and I love the fellowship that I am part of. I am more healthy than I have been in 10 years, I make more than I ever have in my life, and my 8-year-old daughter chose hockey over figure skating!

    Life is good,I just need to look for more opportunities to be a blessing.

    Happy 2012!

  14. Well said. Thank you Matt.

  15. I’ll think about it.

    No, actually, very good post. I just couldn’t resist. :-) I thought about it first too.

  16. Thank you God for all the favor you continue to show us Thank you Jesus for touching the hearts of people to vote for us..We have 8 Days left, IF YOU HAVE NOT VOTED YET PLEASE GO TO http://WWW.JINGLEDREAMS.COM TYPE IN MINISTA WHISPER GO TO HIS VIDEO AND PRESS THE LIKE BUTTON, THAN TYPE IN YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS THAT WILL LETS THEM KNOW THAT YOU VOTED THANK YOU AND MUCH LOVE TO YOU ALL.

  17. Thinking is great!

    It should be done alot more than it is.

    Common sense, you know.

    Very good new years resolution, Pastor Matt.

  18. My goal is to simply live out my year through my word for the year: creative. To be more creative in every area of my life.

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