While there is often skepticism about New Year’s resolutions — and rightly so in many cases — my pastor gave a sermon today that puts the idea of Resolutions in a different light.

Listen to it here.

In a nutshell, there is a definite need for us to resolve to do things.  There is a clear need to make decisions and choices in our lives.  And these decisions are not opposed to grace or the mercy of God.

It’s very common to act as though making resolutions is futile because eventually you will always break them.  And in evangelical circles it’s in vogue to be against resolutions because — the thinking goes — resolutions are based on human effort rather than on the unmerited favor of God. And we cannot earn our righteousness anyway.

So making resolutions often gets viewed by evangelicals as works righteousness.

i know. i used to be a major proponent of the anti-New Year’s resolution viewpoint.  i even preached a sermon or two about it during my days in professional ministry.

But that, i see now, was not wisdom. Nor was it even — at least the version of it that i preached — Biblical.

We make meaningful decisions. This is something God has designed us to do. Jesus was resolute in His mission on earth. We are made in the image of God; therefore, resolving to do things is an image-bearing activity.

It makes sense that i should be resolute.  i should be someone who works toward things. i have a role to play in whatever growth i will experience. This is all the more true for me given my addictive past.

All addicts know the importance of changing behavior. To do so requires resolve. And grace covers us when we fall short of living up to the things we have resolved to do.  The fact that i will fall short at times does not make it useless to resolve to do what i should.

i am no longer opposed to resolutions. i am still opposed to works righteousness.  Fortunately, resolutions and grace go together very well.

And so i fight on in the company of fellow Intentional Warriors.

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