I admitted yesterday to my congregation at Laurel Hill UMC that I am forever giving up resolutions and instead am making appointments to do the things I need to do whether that is writing, exercising, learning something, or applying myself to the work of the ministry. There are many reasons why I am choosing making appointments over making resolutions. Yes, both can be forgotten but I cannot count the number of resolutions I have forgotten through the years. I remember very painfully the appointments I have missed.
So, I want to and can make appointments that can prove helpful to my quality of life. I don’t trust myself to say I will make new habits that will prove helpful to me. My track record shows me my “habits” can have a very short shelf life. For best results, I will forever stick to making appointments.
But, is there something wrong with resolutions? Why have I always been encouraged to make them if they are inherently faulty? Wait, I am inherently faulty. So, I suppose if I am resolving to do something that could end up very naturally and very easily falling short. But, let me give you my BIG THREE reasons why I think resolutions end up being the wrong vehicle to use when you want to go places with your life.
1. Resolutions apply more to the future than the present. Resolutions are about what I am going to do up ahead of me somewhere. It’s like trying to play spiritual “Toss Across” with yourself. Resolutions require us to throw our activity forward instead of setting it in the present moment.
2. Resolutions imply resistance. Resolutions require me to alter the status quo and run uphill against myself. They end up being short-lived as a result. Resolutions imply an obligation greater than I’ve been able to meet up until now. Making appointments instead implies I’ve just got somewhere I need to go and a certain time to be there. I could be resistant but that would be childish and I’m not childish.
3. Finally, resolutions are rooted in self direction instead of being God-led. No one ever in the Bible who was called by God to a particular task or mission ever said, “Yes, God, I know you are calling me but let me get my resolve up first.” Oswald Chambers in today’s devotional in My Utmost for His Highest says “resolution always ends in denial” of Jesus.
If you want to go places in life with the God who is on the move, make an appointment to meet with Him and then tag along. If you want your best to shine out, make yourself available to the God who manifests His kingdom and glory in the earth. And ask the God of miracles, “If You’ve got a job to do, can I go for you?” The job will be too much for our resolve but just right for the obedience and appointment of our faith.