I like New Year’s resolutions. I’ve practiced them with varying degrees of success in the past, but that word resolve is a good one. I resolve to do better this year. I resolve to kill my bad habits; to practice new, better ones.
The start of a new year is always a great time to take stock, and – since we’ve all just consumed to excess and feel particularly guilty about the relative decadence of our comfortable Western existences – a good time to try to become a better person. Which is why gyms are always full in January, and tobacconists always put a bit of cash aside to get them through to February.
Of course, resolutions require discipline and willpower, and that’s why gyms and tobacconists enjoy similarly contrasting fortunes in February. People find such promises hard to keep, and that’s no surprise, considering they’re usually about self-denial…
I want to tell you about my New Year’s resolution. More than that, I want to invite you to join me in it.
If you’ve read this blog lately, you’ll know I’ve been beating myself up about how I’m far better at preaching the Christian life than I am at practicing it. I talk a good game, but sometimes I struggle to translate that into action. I think and talk about serving, obeying and connecting with God far more than I actually do those things. And I reckon rather than mope about that fact, I’m going to try to throw that trend into reverse. No, more than that: I resolve to.
So in 2013, I’m going to set myself a challenge every week which enables me to practically live out my Christian faith. 52 challenges, set on a Tuesday (because New Year’s Day falls on one, and frankly, no-one likes Mondays), that provide me with hooks to build up my own relationship with God, and to join in with his ongoing mission on earth. I’ll draw them all from the Bible, and there will be at least a slight bias toward serving young people and practicing the Spiritual Disciplines, because these are things I care about.
I’m committed to this, but of course, as a massive extrovert I’d rather not do this alone. So if this idea resonates with you, why not join me on the journey throughout 2013? I’ll post the week’s challenge here on this blog every Tuesday morning, and this can then be a natural place to share thoughts, stories etc. Twitter also feels like a great place for this, so I’m going to have a conversation on there – even if it’s just with myself, using the hashtag #God52.
Here’s what I’m asking in a nutshell: why not make your 2013 New Year’s Resolution a promise to live out your faith more intentionally? As a way of making that tangible – sign up for 52 challenges over the year, see that whole year through, and then see where you are at the end of it.
One thing- if you do decide to join me, then please, commit the whole thing to God in prayer first. If that sounds heavy, it shouldn’t – it could actually be the liberating key to a New Year’s Resolution that actually sticks! We fail at these things because we do them in our own strength… a year doing more for God will work because it’s actually a year doing more with God.
So why not come on the adventure? 52 challenges throughout 2013 that will tug you out of your comfort zone and draw you closer to God. Tell your friends, invite your youth group, and just for once, see that New Year’s Eve promise through for a whole year.
See you back here on January 1st. Let’s start a resolution!