Six 2018 New Year Resolutions
All of us have room to improve. Clearly those who set goals accomplish more. Changing the world begins with changing ourselves first. Here are some resolutions that can change the world.
1. To Connect Every Day to the Greatest Power Source in the World.
What sets Christians apart from every other person, the work and power of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is tragically neglected in our world today. Many talk a great deal about the Holy Spirit, as if they have a corner on the market. Few are those who talk less and exhibit the humble filling and power of the Spirit of God. Seek to live a life characterized by “the fellowship of the Holy Spirit.” (2 Corinthians 13:14 ESV)
Ask the Spirit of God to lead you into humility and the fruit of the Spirit. The Spirit is still willing and our flesh is still weak.
2. To “Kill them with Kindness.”
This is not easy in our sarcastic, vindictive, accusatory culture, where tit-for-tat is the normal response, to turn the other cheek and love others as Jesus loves us. But when we love unconditionally and treat people better than they deserve, this is when God is most glorified as people see Christ in us.
Romans 12:21 (NIV) Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
3. To Resolve Conflict Biblically
Conflict is inevitable, but it doesn’t have to be destructive. Bitterness turns to anger, vengence and ultimately war breaks out between friends, neighbors and countries. Decide that you are going to seek to be a peacemaker “as far as it is possible with you.” When someone is critical of another, say, “I’m here to help you resolve that conflict, let me get that person on the phone so you can connect and “not let the sun go down on your anger.” Believe the best of people and be a tool of reconciliation. (2 Corinthians 5:18)
Commit to moving toward the conflict, going to the person one-on-one before you broadcast on social media or make it a prayer request on Facebook. Practice:
Matthew 18:15 (ESV) “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother.
Go with the right heart attitude…
Galatians 6:1 (ESV) Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted.
Who should take the first step toward reconciliation? The one who is most spiritual! 🙂
4. No Bashing on Social Media.
Use social media to encourage, to highly the good, but not as a gossip tool or means to broadcast bitterness and self-righteousness. Rarely does conflict on Social Medea result in bringing people together, so don’t even get started. Commit to a rant-free Facebook and tact-filled Twitter. Let’s become more civil and use these tools to practice,
Ephesians 4:29 (ESV) “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.”
5. Be an Extravagant Encourager.
Everyone could use a word of encouragement. Ask God to make you more like Himself, as the “God of endurance and encouragement…”
Romans 15:5–6 (ESV) May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
I’m asking God to make 2018 the year where I make encouraging others a primary focus of my ministry. How about you?
6. To Listen More
Listen more to others, but even more importantly, listen more to God. The biggest obstacle here is pride. Pride fouls everything up when we fail to humble ourselves and make sure that we have heard the other person out. Miscommunication and misunderstanding have caused more hurt and heartbreak in relationships than just about anything and the antidote is taking the time to listen and learn.
I’m looking forward to a better year in 2018 as I seek to make good decisions on the path God has set before me. What do you think?