In church this week we talked about the new year, making resolutions, setting goals, from Philippians 3.
I confess, I have been a downer about making New Year’s resolutions. I don’t do it, because when I don’t keep up with it, I get discouraged about myself.
But I’ve heard some wise people say that instead of making resolutions, we can make goals. And that’s what we talked about Sunday. In Philippians 3, Paul encourages us to make goals.
He says to forget what lies behind, good or bad. That verse has always been a great comfort to me. I need to forget what I’ve done in the past, the wrong ways I turned, stop letting them drag me down.
Instead, Paul said he strained forward toward the goal of knowing Jesus. Strain, strive, press on. Strong action words.
Our pastor, Todd, talked about the phrase sometimes used at Christmas time, “Jesus is the reason for the season.” He said, “With Jesus, every day is a holiday, right?”
That’s the goal I want to strive for. Jesus is the reason for every season, for every day.
In my personal bible study I switch between the Old and New Testaments, with more frequent stops at reading one of the gospels. I find that helps me keep encouraged, focused. I realized recently that I haven’t read a gospel in months. I need that. I need a more frequent refresher reminder of what Jesus said and what he did. I started the book of Matthew this week.
Todd also read some resolutions Jonathan Edwards made and one especially touched me. He said to not only try not to be angry in a conversation, but to show love. That’s what I want from myself in conversations.
Those are just a couple of my goals.
Like Paul, I want to strain to better know Jesus, and be more like him. There are so many things I want to do better: to be kind to my family, to put God first in my life, to be more humble and less selfish, to have purer thoughts, to be more generous. And I’m not sure how to keep all this straight in my mind.
Maybe a simple reminder for me might be, “Jesus is my reason for today.” Or, “Jesus first.”
Philippians 3:12-14: Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, 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.
I stopped making resolutions years ago. Instead I make goals like you. I start out with small ones. I think goals are more obtainable.
I love your blog post. Our relationship with God should be our biggest goal and most important. Thanks for reminding me of that.