Resolving Resolution Relapse

Resolution listIf you are like most people, by now you have made at least one New Year’s resolution. And if you are like many people, by March you will suffer a relapse or even give up on your resolve to fulfill that resolution! But why is it that most of us are long on promise but short on performance? Well, I think there are several factors, but I have some ideas that might help resolve resolution relapse:

  1. Make reasonably realistic resolutions: Be reasonably realistic when making your resolutions. Don’t resolve to tackle the giants if you haven’t dealt with the ants! Master the little things before you tackle the big things! It was David’s victories over the lion and the bear that gave him the confidence to face Goliath!
  2. Break down your resolutions into bite-sizes! Just as you can’t eat a whole meal in just one bite, it is unreasonable to expect to reach the top in a single step. But, you can do it one bite and one step at a time! Inch by inch; it’s a cinch! Don’t worry about getting through the year, just deal with the next minute! It has been said that we can only live one day at a time. But, the real truth of the matter is this: We can only live one moment at a time! If you do something each moment of each hour of each day of each month that will move you toward your goal; you will reach your goal for the year!
  3. Make your resolutions measurable. Don’t just resolve to be “a better person.” How much “better” do you want to be? What does “better” look like? You must be specific to be terrific! Set definitive measurable goals. If you walked into the bank and just asked the teller for “some money” chances are fairly good that you would get in trouble! But if you asked for a specific amount, they might at least check to see if you had an account!
  4. Be willing to pay the price! Don’t succumb to the common human weakness of wanting something for nothing! Understand there is a price to be paid if you are going to reach your goal! It’s going to cost; time, money, commitment, convenience, discomfort, sweat, tears, etc. Whatever it is; it’s going to cost! You must accept that reality and be willing to pay the cost.
  5. Write it down! Put it in writing! Writing it down causes your resolution to take on a life of its own. A goal is just a wish until you write it down! The reason most people don’t write it down is because writing it down makes it more official. If they fail, they want to be able to deny the existence of the goal because denial eases the pain of failure. However, it is the act and the fact of a written goal that makes us more prone to follow through. A written goal is a contract with ourselves that we are more likely to honor.
  6. Publish it! No! You don’t have to formally publish it; just tell it publicly! When you write it down; it is a contract with yourself. When you publish it; it is a declaration to others and that will make you even more accountable and more likely to follow through. Not only will it make you more accountable, but publishing it will also help you to enlist the help and encouragement from others who can help you reach your goal.
  7. Make resolutions that will stretch you. Some people don’t keep resolutions because they are too big and unrealistic. But on the other hand, some people don’t keep resolutions because they are too small! Resolutions that are too small don’t excite or stimulate! Somebody said that a good speech is like a tasteful lady’s skirt: Short enough to be interesting but long enough to cover the subject! In the same sense, your resolution should be big enough to stretch you while at the same time not so big that it breaks you! The good thing about a resolution that stretches you is that even if you fail, because of your efforts, you will at least be bigger than you were before you started! As the old saying goes: “Reach for the moon, you may land upon a star!” (Apparently the one who coined this saying didn’t realize the moon is actually closer than any star, but it’s the thought that counts!)

This list is by no means exhaustive; it is just a little something to provide some general guidance. But whatever your resolution might be, if it’s noble, if it’s just, if it’s right, if it’s for the common good, if it’s accomplishment will make you a better person and this world a better place, then resolve to do it! And even if you have a relapse, start over again because failure is never final unless you quit!

My wish for you is that you resolve your resolution relapse so that this year will be your best year yet!

Happy New Year and Happy New You!

The Ultimate Goal of Christianity

streets of goldIn my early years of life and even in my early years as a young Christian, I thought that the ultimate goal of Christianity was to get to Heaven! I grew up with a theology that advocated there was nothing really good in this world and that Christians should never have any real involvement with this present age because, after all, we are just pilgrims passing through this unfriendly world! In my youth and in my early Christian years, I thought that the ultimate goal of Christianity was to get to the Pearly Gates and the Streets of Gold!

goldMuch of what I am hearing in Christian circles today is almost the exact opposite! It seems that much of the modern preaching and teaching in Christian circles advocate the ultimate goal of Christianity is to be prosperous in this present world. Many advocate that it is God’s ultimate goal that we “prosper and be in good health.” Many other scriptures are used to advocate that the ultimate goal of Christianity is gold; to be rich, healthy, and wealthy in this present age in this present world!

But what does the Bible really say about the ultimate goal of Christianity? Well, since I have come to some understanding of what Jesus meant about the Kingdom of God (Heaven), things that were once complicated are all so simple to me now! The ultimate goal of Christianity is NOT HEAVEN when we die NEITHER IS IT PROSPERITY IN THIS LIFE! The ultimate goal of Christianity is pronounced in Romans 8:28-29: “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.” (KJV) For the Christian, God works everything together for the good and the “good” in verse 28 is defined in verse 29. The good is that we be conformed to the image of his Son! In other words, if you are a Christian, then God works all things together so that you might BE LIKE JESUS! A Christian, by definition is a follower of Christ and I read somewhere that the term “Christian” can also be defined as: “little Christ.”

Now this fits in perfectly with God’s original plan in the beginning! In Genesis 1:26-28 we read: “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.” (KJV) God’s original intent for humanity was that humanity might administrate the Kingdom of God on earth on HIS behalf. Therefore, humanity was created in the image and likeness of God. In Colossian 1:12-15, Paul wrote: “Giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light. He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins. He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.” (NKJ) Do you see that? Paul described Jesus as being “the image of the invisible God.” In Romans, he said that it was God’s predestined plan that we be conformed to the image of HIS SON! Now, if HIS SON is the image of the invisible God and that same invisible God created man in his image and likeness, then the mission of Jesus was really to provide a way for us to be restored back to our original state: Created in the image and likeness of God!

man on mountainTherefore, the ultimate goal of Christianity is really to restore what was lost in Eden! Adam didn’t lose Heaven in the Garden; he lost dominion! The ultimate goal of Christianity is to take us back to what we were made for! We were not made to occupy Heaven eternally in a spiritual state, nor were we made to be materially prosperous in this world for the sake of prosperity! We were made in the image and likeness of God to have dominion (to administrate the Kingdom of God) over the earth! Therefore, the ultimate goal of Christianity is to put us back where God created us to be! In a place of dominion and authority; not as owners, but as stewards of the Kingdom of God over the earth!