At the beginning of a New Year, a high school principal decided to post his teachers' New Year's resolutions on the bulletin board.
As the teachers gathered around the bulletin board, a great commotion started. One of the teachers was complaining. "Why weren't my resolutions posted?" She was throwing such a temper tantrum that the principal hurried to his office to see if he had overlooked her resolutions. Sure enough, he had mislaid them on his desk. As he read her resolutions he was astounded.
This teacher's first resolution was not to let little things upset her in the New Year.
Maybe this is a good time to see how you're coming on your New Year's resolutions (if indeed you made any). The above story demonstrates why making resolutions may not be such a good thing and, in fact, may be detrimental to our spiritual growth. What happens when we make resolutions? At some point, the resolution is likely going to be broken. It may be a matter of days, weeks, or months, but eventually we tend to falter.
If your resolution involves dieting, there will likely come a day when you'll sneak a piece of fudge. If your resolution is quitting smoking, there will likely come a day when you'll reach for that cigarette you've been craving. If your resolution is reading the Bible every day, there will likely come a day when things are so hectic that you miss your reading.
And once the resolution is broken, it becomes even easier for it to crumble further. The incentive that kept you going ("I've maintained my commitment to this point") is now gone. One slip leads to two which quickly leads to three, and before long we have the attitude, "I've messed up so much that it's not even worth continuing to try." So what is there left to do? For most of us, we set our sights on January 1, 2009 and determine when that day rolls arounds, we'll try it again ("and NEXT time I'll do it!").
Allow me to suggest an alternative. Instead of yearly resolutions, what if we made daily resolutions? Begin each day with this prayer:
"Father, today I want to live for you. I want to dedicate to you my time, my energy, my passion and my resources. Today, I will seek to add one quality that will make me more like You. Today, I will seek to eliminate something in my life that doesn't please you. I will seek to be more conscious of You in my life. I will try to be more appreciative of the blessings I receive from Your hand, and I will look for opportunities to show You glory in the way I deal with people and in the way I react to situations I face."
Make it your resolution to end the day a little bit closer to God than you began. The goal is spiritual growth...
...Till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ...speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head -- Christ. (Ephesians 4:14,16)
Source: Allan Smith Thought for the Day.