I gave up making them a long time ago. Resolutions for the new year seemed more like self-effort than godly-inspiration. But I’m sensing a different message this January. Like a piece of a puzzle I’d been missing.
It started with a verse that kept coming to mind. One a camp counselor quoted to me and a bunch of adolescent girls back in the 60’s. I still feel the sting of confrontation as she lovingly corrected our negative attitudes. We thought camp rules were pretty stupid. The Bible was very specific about what we considered insignificant. But it seems to be a message I still need to hear today.
Do all things without grumbling and faultfinding
and complaining and questioning
and doubting among yourselves.
Philippians 2:14 AMP
With it fresh in my mind once again, it seemed like a perfect theme verse for 2016. I’ve been in the habit of choosing a scripture every January as my focus for the year. But I never considered making it my New Year’s resolution. Until I walked into church the first Sunday in January and heard the pastor’s sermon. It came with a challenge.
Determine a plan to become “noble” in 2016. So the Bible actually addresses the practice of making resolutions? Who knew?
But the noble MAKE NOBLE PLANS
and by noble deeds they stand. Isaiah 32:8
I’ve been feeling a nudge lately. A little conviction that my attitude and words weren’t always pleasing to God.
So my 2016 verse has become my New Year’s Resolution. Simply put: quit complaining and finding fault with things (and people)! I don’t need to have an opinion about how things should be done. Joyce Meyer said it well. Don’t express an opinion unless you have responsibility for it.
As I worked on this blog, a small piece of paper fell out of my Bible. It’s a five-step plan for contentment a friend shared with me years ago. (I’ve always heard resolutions won’t work unless they can be measured. It seems the Lord provided a way. He must want me to get this!).
The author is E.B. Pusey, an 1800 scholar and theologian. It’s the secret to staying content and avoiding the pitfalls of negativity. It will be a good tool to measure my progress this year. I have a long way to go as this list would be impossible on my own! Thankfully, the Lord is my Helper.
- Allow yourself to complain over nothing, not even the weather.
- Never picture yourself to yourself under any other circumstance you are not in.
- Never compare your own lot with that of another.
- Never allow yourself to dwell on the wish that this or that had been otherwise than it was or is.
- Never dwell on tomorrow. It belongs to God not you. The heaviest part of sorrow is often to look forward to it. The Lord will provide what you need.
I long to be noble like the above verse says, but it won’t happen without a plan. While it’s obvious God uses ordinary things to make us more like Him, I never realized weather could play a part in becoming noble. (Wouldn’t it be a lot easier if I lived in Hawaii??)!
How about you? What’s your noble plan for 2016? I’d love for you to share below.