As 2012 approaches, so does the infamous “New Year’s Resolution.” With this in mind, I thought I would do a little (very little) research.
According to USA.gov, the official government web portal, this is a list of our most popular resolutions (How do they know? Chalk it up to “Big Brother.”):
- Get a better job
- Get a better education
- Drink less alcohol
- Get fit
- Lose weight
- Manage debt
- Manage stress
- Quit smoking
- Save money
- Take a trip
- Volunteer to help others
Notice the patterns? Five of the twelve are related to personal health or self and five more to personal quality of life, also self. The last two – recycling and volunteering – seem to be related to helping others. But if we dug deep enough, they too would probably be rooted in making someone feel better about themselves, self again.
Many times we have made similar resolutions (and please know I have an entire log jam in my eye right now) without considering our motives or the root. Ultimately, it seems like a good idea. Everyone else does it, so we should to.
But, let’s go back to Christ’s words in Mark 12, “… you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart … soul … mind and strength … You shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these.”
Now, consider this, if there can be no greater commandment, there can be no greater resolution. So, as we consider “New Year’s Resolutions” in the future, I would encourage us all to forget them and, instead, be resolute in our focus on the two greatest commandments.
Focusing on these takes the focus off of “self” and places it back where it should be, on Christ and the Cross and what we can do to share the Gospel with others.
Have a wonderful New Year!