Monday, December 31, 2012

Resolution Time

By Patrick Hogan

     Several years ago I ran across an advertisement for a grassroots movement that labeled itself "The Resolution Begins." Begun by a group of somewhat idealistic young adults, its focus was to get people to make an impact. Obviously, these were  more than vague promises to lose weight, to start exercising, or to get into better shape. These resolutions were big. Their introductory statement included the following: "Unlike most resolutions, which shoot too low, and are thus forgotten - these are resolutions that have power precisely because they are ridiculously ambitious. "This is bigger and better than an revolution. This is The  Resolution."
     A cursory reading of a partial list of their resolutions shows that the expression "ridiculously ambitious" might be  something of an understatement. I will spare you the details, but trust me, the proposed resolutions were indeed ambitious.
     As we approach 2011 and begin thinking about New Year's Resolutions, perhaps we should take a lesson from The Resolution Begins. Instead of making resolutions that won't last beyond the first of February, or make that much of a difference, we should consider setting some ambitious  goals. One such resolution could be to become more like Jesus wants us to be in the coming year.
     For me, this will be an ambitious goal because it is so easy to coast and just be like I've always been. However, such a resolution can really make a difference, not just in me, but in those I meet.
     Here are some steps each of us can take to help us become more like Jesus wants us to be:
- Personal Bible reading and study to learn more what Jesus is like and what He wants us to become.
- Prayer in which we humble ourselves before the Father and ask Him to give us the strength to become what He wants us to be.
- Regular attendance at worship assemblies where we praise God, remember what Jesus has done and continues to do for us and where we gain strength form being with other Christians.
- Regular participation in Bible classes where we learn not only from God's Word but also from the knowledge and experience of His children.
    Resolving to become morel like Jesus would have us to be is an ambitious goal. It can involve repentance. It requires humility. It requires changes in attitudes, actions and priorities. Keeping this resolution, to whatever degree possible, gives us greater joy and peace, and enables us to influence others in a more positive way.
     Let the resolution begin!

- Patrick Hogan serves as a minister and elder of the Shady Acres Church of Christ, in Sikeston, MO.  He may be contacted through the church's website at

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