I’ve always been a fan of New Year’s. I’m not necessarily talking about the big events like they do in Times Square (although I do like to watch the ball drop on TV!). No, for me it’s all about the ‘new’ – the possibilities that it brings. A new year is a chance to make changes, to do something different, to be different.
So, as you might imagine, I have made a few resolutions over the years. As I’ve started to consider the changes I want to make for 2018, I realized that this process can become very self-centered if I’m not careful. For example, I may set a goal of getting in better shape – to get to a specific weight, to be able to run a marathon, etc. Whatever I choose may certainly be a worthwhile pursuit, but the question I have to ask myself is, “Why?” Is it just so I can feel a little better about myself (assuming I achieve it)? Or are my goals rooted in God’s call on my life?
This year, I’m taking a different approach. I’m in the process of prayerfully writing specific goals for the various aspects of my life: spiritual, physical, vocational, financial, etc. For each of these, I’m writing a one-sentence description of the principle behind each goal, and linking it to the Greatest Commandment (Mark 12:29-31) and the Great Commission (Matt 28:18-20). For example, for my physical goal, the principle I wrote was, “Grow in strength and stamina so I am able to serve God’s Mission in my life.” For my vocational goal, the principle is, “Steward well the gifts God has given me in order to be a blessing to others.”
As you consider what resolutions you may want to make for 2018, I hope you will put God and His Mission at the center of all of them. What are the ‘good works’ that He has already prepared in advance for you (Eph 2:10)? Whatever they might be, I pray that He will enable them to come to fruition for the sake of His Kingdom!
Chris Lake co-founded the Vere Institute (Oct 2014 – May 2021) to empower Christians to integrate their faith into everyday life, their “frontlines.” Chris continues to serve pastors through offering transitional coaching. You can find him on LinkedIn. The Vere Institute’s legacy lives on through our Vere Library, a republishing of many of their written works.