Thursday, January 03, 2013

Resolutions for Life

I'm really not into the whole "New Year's Resolution" thing - I do like to spend some time thinking about the direction God might be leading me though (although I try to do that regularly throughout the year too). Anyway, I came across something from a few years back, "Resolutions for Life in 2001" by Michael Harbour that challenged me anew.  Here's an adapted list- perhaps you will find them useful too:
  1. Listen. Quiet your mind and take in what other people are saying as they tell their story. Listen to their words and to their heart. Listen to their body language. Seek to understand before you seek to answer or contribute.
  2. Keep the storms in perspective. Struggles are going to come. Jesus said, "In this world you will have trouble" (John 16:33). He also said, "Take heart for I have overcome the world." Practice a non-anxious presence. When you walk with God you cannot ultimately fail.
  3. Be gentle and passionate. Paul said, "Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near" (Phil 4:5). Everywhere you go, in whatever circumstance you find yourself, the Lord is near. Awareness of this will keep you gentle, truthful, and hopeful.
  4. Give yourself away. The pattern of the life of Christ is one of self-sacrifice. The blessings that you receive are not to dead-end with you. The goodness that you receive is not something to exploit for your own benefit. Rejoice and create opportunities for joy in others.
  5. Extend the grace of God. As you have received freely and fully from God, so extend to those who need grace. Forgive others just as God in Christ has forgiven you (Colossians 3:13).
  6. Remember that it is not your job to set everybody straight. Choose your challenges with prayer and wisdom.
  7. Look for opportunities to encourage a child, to love a stranger, and to do something good for someone you don't like. Do something good for someone who doesn't like you.
  8. Love your family by making happy memories this year. Run in the rain, play in the snow, be spontaneous, and get them gifts at unexpected times.
  9. Love your friends with gifts of time and attention.
  10. Be a good student. Read the newspaper. Read as many books as possible. Watch less television.
  11. Do unto others what God would have you do.
  12. Take a Sabbath. One day out of the week the world can turn without your work.
  13. Be affectionate.
  14. Be daring. Take risks for goodness sake. Use your talents with gusto!
  15. Watch for answers to prayer and give God the glory. Give thanks for God's extravagant, undeserved love for you.
  16. Don't eat until you are hungry. Stop eating at the first sign of fullness.
  17. Lean into life and be excellent.
  18. Tell the story of God's great Grace. "While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." (Rom. 5:8).
Grace & Peace for 2013