Spiritual Resolutions

 

“God is the only goal worthy of man’s efforts; the fitting end of human existence is a loving union with God.”

St. Augustine of Hippo

Resolutions. We all make them at the onset of the New Year, but few are kept throughout the year. A resolution is “a firm decision to do something.” Diet and exercise resolutions are the most prevalent, which is why the gym is jam packed the first few months of the year. A new year gives us hope that things will be different, with good habits replacing our bad ones. Instead of making a list of five resolutions to tackle all at once, try introducing one new habit each quarter and your success rate will be much higher.

I always close out the end of a year with a time of reflection. Looking back on 2014 through the pages of my journals, I’m reminded of God’s faithfulness. And as I look ahead into 2015 I have great anticipation of what God may have up His sleeve for me.

My husband and I have been reading a book on goal setting. The author suggests to start with the end in mind and to imagine what we want people to say about us at our funeral. The statements we come up with reveals our core values, what we care most about. The goals which are congruent with our core values are the ones which bring us the greatest satisfaction.

In Philippians 3:12-14 the Apostle Paul sets goals for himself. “Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” Paul’s aim and focus was to know Christ, (Philippians 3:10), and his goal was to please Jesus. (II Corinthians 5:9)

The goals I write down and review will more likely be accomplished. The converse is also true. John Wimber says, “If you’ve nothing to shoot for you’ll hit it every time.” Or as Benjamin Franklin quotes, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.” Besides setting goals for my physical well being, I look at character traits I need to work on, goals for the ministry, as well as making firm decisions towards spiritual growth. Clearly defined goals simplifies decisions, keeping distractions minimal.

My verse for 2015 comes from John 7:18. “He who speaks on his own does so to gain honor for himself, but he who works for the honor of the One who sent him is a man of truth; there is nothing false about him.” My focus for 2015 is to have what I speak, write or do be all for God’s honor, not mine. I want to be a woman full of truth and integrity, never fearing man.

Look back on 2014 and thank God for His faithfulness. Look ahead to 2015 and ask God what spiritual goals He wants you to accomplish. Place your specific goals in writing, review them often and ask God for His grace to fulfill them.

“More men fail through lack of purpose than through lack of talent.”

Billy Sunday

Relevant Reflections:

1. Take time to review and reflect on 2014. Thank God for His faithfulness.

2. Prayerfully discern spiritual goals for 2015. Write them down and review them often.

3. In what way do you want to become more like Christ?

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