Now that your tree's down and your left-overs are just "overs", I really hope you're having a "First-Week-of-the-New-Year" filled with praise and thanks! In fact, you should just really resolve as your News Year's Resolution Numero Uno to have a 2013 daily filled with…
Whoa. Maybe that's not such a good idea.
I mean, praise and thankfulness are like the most important components of your heart's health, but apparently resolutions aren't the steps to getting there!
Seems that when folks resolve that "first of all, from now on, I'm going to never…" or, "secondly, from now on, I'm always going to…", it actually ups the chances that you "will" the first (instead of "won't" it), and "won't" the second (instead of "will" it)!
When determined hearts resolve, and make resolutions that "from now on", they're going to stop doing something bad that've always done, or start doing something they should do but rarely have, success rates are less than impressive. For a week, we do swell! 76% keep their resolutions that long. But six months down the Resolution Trail, 54 to 60 % have stumbled to the curb! 60% of all gym memberships are unused. After six months, 85% of those who resolve to be "ex-smokers", ain't.
Even when you add accountability, the percentages stay constant. In fact, getting someone to help you can actually make things worse! Sometimes, we just don't know how to say the right thing at the right time…One determined weight-watcher asked her husband if he could encourage her in her journey back down to her former weight. "I want my Coke bottle figure back," she told him. "Well, you look like the two-liter bottle!", he replied unhelpfully trying to be helpful. "I'm just trying to get in shape!" she answered. "Round's a shape!", said he!
Waaaaay back in the 1700's a kid started to make a list of his "resolutions" he wanted to follow all his life. He started his list when he was 19 and reviewed them every week until he died like 28 years later. By the end he had seventy resolutions! And he pretty much kept them all!
Because they weren't really "resolutions". They were really "reminders".
The "70 Resolutions" of Jonathan Edwards weren't things he was trying to start (or stop) doing, but basics he didn't want to forget! F'r instance…
"Resolved, Never to do any thing, which I should be afraid to do, if it were the last hour of my life."
Remember that you don't want to die with regrets! Here's another like that one…
"Resolved, never to do anything, which I should be afraid to do, if I expected it would not be above an hour, before I should hear the last trump."
You don't want to forget that! Or this...
"I frequently hear persons in old age say how they would live, if they were to live their lives over again: Resolved, that I will live just so as I can think I shall wish I had done, supposing I live to old age."
How 'bout this? Number six may be my fav…
"Resolved, to live with all my might, while I do live."
"Go for it! With all your heart!" That's amazingly easy to forget!
"Don't forget this stuff, Johnny!", he'd tell himself weekly
Most of the time, we have problems, not because we don't "resolve" well, but because we don't remember well. I have a few things I try to remember almost daily. If I get into trouble, I've usually forgotten one or two. They're the sayings painted over the exits on football locker rooms as you head on to the field. Notre Dame's says. "Play like a champion today!" (We'll see how that goes on Monday…)
Here are mine…
"My life is His"…Everything I have is His. He bought it with His blood. If I lose something, I'm not sad! It wasn't mine to start with!
"My home is Heaven"…Not here! Good cow! If we expect to "have it all" here, we'll be disappointed all the time! I'm just passing thru this world!! On my way home!
"My time is today"…This is the only day I have to think about! Most of my depression, worry, and anxiety come from thinking about a day that's past or hasn't come!
"My job is to serve people"…If someone doesn't treat you right, who cares? I'm just a servant (The New Testament really says "slave"!) What does a servant expect?!
"My goal is to please God!" That's all I care about! I live for the smile of One! If I didn't please everybody in the whole world today, that's OK! I wasn't really trying to! If I pleased Him, it's been a great day!
"My fight is for joy"…I want joy in Jesus more than anything! An invisible enemy doesn't want me to have it. So, I'm ready to fight for it! Every day!!
"My strength is weakness"…If I know I can't do stuff or face things on my own…Hello!!! I wasn't made to! I'm poor, weak, and needy! As he says in 2 Cor 12, "When I'm weak, I'm strong!" In Him!! My weaknesses…I love 'em!
I don't have seventy. Just seven.
I'm probably not going to resolve to start doing things I don't do this coming year. I'm just going to renew my resolve to remember things I already know!