Like many of you, I’ve been reflecting on the last year and setting my sights on the next, waxing philosophical about my life and how I can improve it and myself. Through resolve. Are any of these common new year’s resolutions on your mind?
Weigh less. Exercise more. Eat better.
Work less. Work harder. Achieve more.
Spend less. Pay off debt. Save more.
Some of them are on my list, too. And I love lists. To wrangle the chaos of life into neatly bulletized lineups gives me the perceived control that evades me in reality.
But I think that’s precisely the problem with ‘resolutions’. They are, at their core, driven by performance. We resolve to _______ . Resolve is a verb, which means we are doing something. And that we must do it better than we have in the past.
In reflecting on my hopes for this year and the efforts they would require of me, the stunning truth of Jesus’s work fell fresh on me: unlike mine, His work was perfect. It could not be improved upon.
Under the old covenant, the priest stands and ministers before the altar day after day, offering the same sacrifices again and again, which can never take away sins. But our High Priest offered himself to God as a single sacrifice for sins, good for all time. Then he sat down in the place of honor at God’s right hand.
– Hebrews 10:11,12 NLT
He sat down. Because it was finished. He didn’t face the cross again the next year to try to do it better, faster or more effectively. This drives home to me not only that His sacrifice was perfect and sufficient, but also that I need neither to earn it nor strive to be worthy of it. He loved me enough — while I was yet a sinner — to endure the shame of the cross for me (Romans 5:8). He cannot love me more.
Can we let this truth shape our thinking for 2013?
Can our goals and actions be defined not by what they profit us but instead how they reflect our gratitude and love for Him?
If we seek a healthier body…
may it be to host the Holy Spirit and to live long to proclaim His glory.
(1 Corinthians 6:19,20)
If we earn more…
may it be to give more to reach the lost and tend to the needs of the least of these. (Matthew 25:37-40)
If we achieve acclaim…
may it be because we worked as unto the Lord.
If we read the Bible every day…
may it be to fall more deeply in love with Him.
If we strive…
may it be toward heaven and the One who purchased it for us.
Wishing you a wonderful 2013.
May it bring you ever-deeper in your faith.