I somewhat bashed resolutions in my last post so I want to make up for it today. The foundational idea behind making a resolution is to create a change in life that moves you forward, that makes your life better. That’s sort of like sanctification. As we know from God’s Word, sanctification (that growing we do in Christ) is a strange mix of our faith and works fueled by the Holy Spirit. We make choices in life, and resolutions merely honor the fact that some of those choices are good and others, not so good.
The key to making resolutions, and also keeping a restful heart, is to hold hands with grace.
That sounds nice. I wish I knew what that really meant. What does a life stimulated by grace look like?
Ironically, I think it requires a lot of letting go. Loose hands. A quick forgetfulness. When we mess up, we release the weight of failure immediately. We recognize that Jesus has strong, broad shoulders, which, on the cross, carried our failures. We rest in his success, not our own.
Additionally and paradoxically, a grace-stimulated life requires holding on. We must stay connected to the grace-source, Jesus. The hand of grace we hold is a pierced hand, a hand etched with our names. We don’t let go of this hand no matter how deep the pain or how broad the shame. And when we hold this hand, we experience true rest.
We’re headed for a stressful year if the resolutions we make are dependent upon our abilities and work ethic. We’re headed for a year that is anything but restful if the demands of our resolutions hang over our heads like condemning laws.
Bottom line, only one person fulfilled Old Covenant Law (meaning he perfectly kept the Father’s resolutions, his requirements for his people). His name is Jesus. If our little resolutions aren’t tied into His resolution, we have no hope for a restful 2013.
With that in mind, what areas are you hoping to improve in over the next year?
Among other things, I’m resolved to manage my time better in order to write more. That means prioritizing and setting aside good and fun things in order to pursue the writing that has been on my heart. And I’ll do this, of course, by holding hands with grace.