Resolutions are so much fun this time of year. We know we’re not going to complete them, but it sure is fun talking about them. Why do we break them? Dan and Chip Heath’s studies have shown that resolutions are made for defeat. They’re designed to make us feel good about setting them but do not require us to accomplish anything.
I’ve got another theory. The life with Christ isn’t built on our plans. They’re usually responses to what God is doing to us. Grace and everything else in life are gifts. What if we looked back on 2013 to see where God is nudging us in 2014?
Think about your relationships. We spent a good deal of 2013 talking about people that walk into our lives unexpectedly—pastors, Cornelius-types, strangers, and other sinners like you and me. Some people in our church have met some along the way at Sabal Palm Elementary, in the neighborhood, at work, or on campus. Now what would it be like to resolve to invest in a group of people you care about?
People who set goals with specific times and places to start are more likely to fulfill them. So what about responding to the spirit’s movement in 2014? Make a commitment to invest in a 12-month relationship with a group of people in your network. How do you begin?
- Using prayer, imagine living in their world. What do they really need in their lives? Visualize how to care for them. After hanging out with them in 2013, how can you build a bridge to show them Christ’s life in your life?
- Set a time. When is the natural way to begin?
- Set a place. Where is that going to take place?
- Take the step.
One of the first people I met while mentoring at an elementary school was named Christina. She was a social worker and a believer but had dropped out of church. She was dating a single father and found church people sort of stuffy and hard to relate to. But when she met the people at church who were mentoring at the school, she realized something different was going on. The service the church was providing gave her a picture of who Christ could be in her life. She eventually came to church and helped serve needy families who were apart of her school.
The eternal difference you can make in someone’s life is not measured in resolutions. It happens one step at a time with a specific plan to respond to the relationships right in front of you.