New year resolutions have always inspired me. It has that sense of direction, a force of purpose, an element of control, and more in those organized lines. With the days of new month and beginnings embracing us, the season to set goals have arrived. Particularly, where pandemic reset all what we set into momentum in 2020, the time calls for setting objectives and commitments.
But as a scripture driven individual, it also dawns on me, that making resolutions is not a petty affair. Being a disciple of Christ, commitment to others and to self, is sacred. The scripture explicitly directs that our ‘yes’ be ‘yes’ and our ‘no’ be ‘no’. It implies simplicity, without making a vow. It reiterates that all words even to the most frequent and common ‘yes’ or ‘no’ is made as a truth statement. With God as an integral part of our life, making plans and setting goals are crucial, and one that translates as a sacred vow spoken before our maker
So as christians, our statements, commitments and goals are more than just a jot on the paper. It calls for willful conformity to the word. Fundamentally, we are people of truth and not fathered by lies. Moreover, we are in the light and do not relate to the deeds of darkness. All these should be coherent part of our thought processes and infused in our daily decision making process. In essence, not being able to keep ones word is foolish and wicked to God, no matter how common and simple it may be. (Ecc 5:4)
Consider Adam & Eve at the beginning of life in the Old Testament. They spun off mankind from God’s presence as a result of the deviation from what they initially resolved. Could such a trivial misalignment (in our eyes, not God’s) result in such immediate and fierce judgement by God? Should an eternal consequence be the outcome?
Examine Ananias and Sapphira at the beginning of the Church and the New testament. They took a decision about something that was rightly theirs to keep. The change of their decision before Peter may not be so serious to our judgment, but the decision taken in their family was sacred to God. So God, who holds all things accountable, answered with death on their account.
On the other side of the spectrum, we reflect the actions of Abraham by the oaks of Mamre. He entertained the three visitors and offered utmost hospitality. He decided to bake fresh bread (with flour that was measured) and with choice meat (best and unmeasured). Few hundred years later, when Abraham’s decedents hungered in the wilderness, God remembered and provided them Manna from heaven (by the measure), and meat (unmeasured).
All these decisions and acts was sacred to God in their own way.
But one may ask ‘Is this not just a secular decision, and why all the spiritual fuss?’. Do we need to spiritualize everything? True, there is the Physical element and the Spiritual element when we live our lives on earth before God. But if we are the Church, (ie, the body of Christ being spiritually built up), there is no distinction that divides the secular and the sacred. If we are God’s temple and God is in the house, we take our decisions ‘In Him’. We are reborn with our citizenship in heaven, and therefore all our life aspects are totally spiritual and superseding the Physical. We live in our physical bodies honoring God, yet defined for eternal abode alone.
So what shall we say then? If word stated by a child of God is a sacred truth statement, then we consider all our resolutions seriously in light of what God requires. Subsequently, the word points us on many occasion, across the holy scriptures, to ‘Fulfill our vows to God’. It is so crucial that this very act, is described as ‘Worship’ to the most high! Psalm 66:13. I will come to your temple with burnt offerings and fulfill my vows to you — vows my lips promised and my mouth spoke when I was in trouble. Similarly King David in Psalm 61:8 states this act of worship again. The repetition calls for a sense of importance, and a sense of urgency, due to the matter. We live in an age where worship has taken many directions. But may we stand in reverence for the will of God, and what he requires from us in worship.
So let us be zealous and diligent. Decision making is a daily prerequisite. May we not be overtaken by the vain goals and resolutions, but rather by honoring the sacredness and fulfilling it. May the words of our mouth, and the meditation of our heart, be acceptable in our Lord’s sight. (Psa 19:4)
*Happy Resolutions… Happy New Start… Happy New Month!*