I'm normally not one for making New Year's resolutions...
Don't get me wrong. I'm all for setting achievable goals and striving for improvement in my life.
As a matter of fact, I've already tried to eat better/more healthy since the first of the year. I've already tried to do more reading and reflection to begin and end my days. And, I've already been to the local recreation center to work out/exercise three times in 2011 (which is probably two more times than I did all of last year!). Ugh!
But, really? Do resolutions work?
During a time of reading and reflection one morning this week, I rediscovered a terrific example of some resolutions, and decided to make them mine for 2011. Here they are:
One - Remember every day of 2011 that there is only one God. As a follower of Christ, there just aren't any others. Only one.
Two - Avoid making anything else (man-made or natural) competition for God in my life. Remember every day of 2011 that God wants/deserves my devotion and worship. Don't give what belongs to Him to anything/anyone else.
Three - Resist using God's name in an inappropriate way. Remember throughout 2011 that God's name is holy. That speaking curses (and/or coarse words) is just plain wrong for a follower of Christ.
Four - Dedicate at least one day every week completely to God. Keep that day really special, just for Him! Remember throughout all of 2011 that there will always be more work, important errands and an endless list of tasks to do. As a Christ follower, I need to give one day a week over to God and rest.
Five - Look for ways to respect/love my parents more in 2011. They are not to be more highly regarded than God; no family member deserves more respect/love than God. But, God is pleased when I honor my father and my mother with simple acts of kindness and special favor.
Six - Refrain from killing in 2011. That includes killing with words, killing with looks/glances, and killing with hands, etc. Love other people and speak well of them. Denegrading or bad-mouthing or hurting others is just plain wrong for followers of Christ.
Seven - Go overboard in love for my spouse so that I won't even be tempted to cheat with anyone else. Remember throughout 2011 that God is the one who created marriage, that wonderful relationship between one man and one woman. He expects me to be faithful to the incredible gift of "oneness" He's given to me.
Eight - Resist all temptations to take from others. This includes big and small things. As a follower of Christ, there should not even be a hint or a suggestion of dishonesty when it comes to other people's money or possessions.
Nine - At all times, speak truth about my family, friends and everyone else. If you really don't know all the facts about a situation (and you never will), keep your mouth shut. Don't say unkind things about others. Ever. Words hurt and careless, not well thought out phrases are deadly. All truth in 2011!
Ten - Be content with what I have and refrain from desiring more and more of what someone else has. As a Christ follower, thank God everyday in 2011 for how He's abundantly blessed me and marvel at His goodness in all the things He's allowed me to possess.
Well, those are my resolutions for 2011.
By now, some of you are probably saying, "Wait a minute! Haven't I heard those ten somewhere before?" Yup. You have.
See Exodus 20:2-17 for the original version.
Even though I know I'm not going to be able to keep all of these resolutions in 2011 (because by myself, I just can't), I am asking God to work in me and allow me to make some headway towards these lofty goals and needed improvements in my life.
How about you? What are your resolutions for 2011?