I stopped making New Year resolutions ages ago.
Not because I’m so perfect that I don’t need them. I’m definitely not perfect. Rather, I don’t make New Year resolutions because I rarely keep them. If I do manage to keep them, it’s only for a couple of weeks and then my will power tapers off and I forget all about them.
Instead of resolutions, I choose three Scripture passages to copy, print, and keep handy throughout the year. I review them as often as possible and give them some serious prayer time at least once a month. I keep the printed copy in a conspicuous place because I’m one of those people who remembers things I see better than things I hear or note mentally. For me, out of sight is out of mind.
I choose three passages because, quite frankly, I know that if I choose more I’d probably let them fall to the wayside. If I try to focus on too many things at once, I usually end up not doing any of them well. Three is about all I can handle with serious concentration and resolve. I pick the three that speak to me, based on where I’m at in my private and spiritual life and what’s going on in the world around me.
In a way, the Scripture passages become my resolutions, as they’re meant to direct me in improving myself for the sake of God and my fellow humans. My goal is growing spiritually in the way that God wills for me. Everything I do and strive for is measured up against those passages. Additionally, everything that I experience is held up to them as well.
This year, I’ve chosen to center on the three Theological Virtues: Faith, Hope, and Love (Charity). At least as far as I can tell, that’s where the Holy Spirit is leading me for 2017. It’s too personal to share details, but I can tell you that the passages that surfaced for me point to things I need to work on as well as bolstering my courage for things I’ve got to endure.
Isn’t that what New Year resolutions are all about, anyway?
Here are my 2017 Scripture Passages:
For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, virtue with knowledge, knowledge with self-control, self-control with endurance, endurance with devotion, devotion with mutual affection, mutual affection with love. If these are yours and increase in abundance, they will keep you from being idle or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. (2 Peter 1:5-8)
Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace* with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access [by faith] to this grace in which we stand, and we boast in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we even boast of our afflictions, knowing that affliction produces endurance, and endurance, proven character, and proven character, hope, and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the holy Spirit that has been given to us. (Rom 5:1-5)
If I speak in human and angelic tongues* but do not have love, I am a resounding gong or a clashing cymbal. And if I have the gift of prophecy and comprehend all mysteries and all knowledge; if I have all faith so as to move mountains but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give away everything I own, and if I hand my body over so that I may boast but do not have love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient, love is kind. It is not jealous, [love] is not pompous, it is not inflated,it is not rude, it does not seek its own interests, it is not quick-tempered, it does not brood over injury,it does not rejoice over wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never fails. If there are prophecies, they will be brought to nothing; if tongues, they will cease; if knowledge, it will be brought to nothing. For we know partially and we prophesy partially, but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. When I was a child, I used to talk as a child, think as a child, reason as a child; when I became a man, I put aside childish things. At present we see indistinctly, as in a mirror, but then face to face. At present I know partially; then I shall know fully, as I am fully known. So faith, hope, love remain, these three; but the greatest of these is love. (1 Cor 13:1-13)
You’re welcome to adopt this method of non-resolution making for yourself or pass on it completely. Either way, I hope you’ll pray for me as I pray for you.
I wish you the most Blessed, Happy, and Fruitful New Year ever!