New Year's Resolutions
Happy New Year!
It’s that time of year, time to recommit to the things you de-committed to about 51 weeks ago!
Resolutions at the first of the year are a tradition going back between 2,000 and 4,000 years ago, from the Romans to the Babylonians. Most are built around health and habits. Here are some of the most popular New Year’s Resolutions:
• Lose Weight
• Get Organized
• Spend Less/Save More
• Live Life to the Fullest
• Staying Fit and Healthy
• Quit Smoking
• Help Others in Their Dreams
• Fall in Love
• Spend More Time with Family
Do you ever notice how most, if not all these resolutions revolve around you and I doing something? The problem with that? We’re human beings, not human doings!
The beginning of Shakespeare’s famous soliloquy from Act III, Scene I of Hamlet allows us to move New Year’s resolutions from a state of doing to a state of being. “To be, or not to be, that is the question.” I imagine that if he had written, “To do, or not to do,” it would not have the same impact.
Doing is relatively easy. It’s either yes or no, do or don’t. You lose weight or you don’t. You meet the deadline or you don’t. You win the race or you don’t. Doing brings victory or defeat. It’s an outside process.
Being, however, is an inside process. Being allows you to experience victory and defeat, and then choose how you want to respond. It’s a shift in your soul, a turnaround in your thinking.
Doing causes a reaction. Being creates a response.
From a spiritual perspective, the shift, from doing to being, frees you from checklists that chain you to consequences (doing) and allows your identity in Christ (being) to define the response you give to any situation. Being allows you to be fed from the Spirit rather than feeding the flesh.
Ephesians 4:20-32 shows the struggle of human doing vs. human being.
Specifically, verse 23 says that you should, “let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes.” (NLT). The Amplified Version says that you should, “discard…your previous manner of life…and be constantly renewed in the spirit of your mind.” Notice that there’s no command to “do” in the flesh, but rather, to “let” and “be.” This sounds like the opposite of the striving to be Christlike mentality that we’ve all been taught!
Being in Christ brings freedom. You are in Christ. God never intended to make your life (the flesh) Christlike. He intended for His son to manifest His life in you and through you. (Galatians 2:20-21, NLT)
Freedom in Christ is not a life long struggle. Galatians 5:1 says, “So Christ has truly set us free. Now make sure that you stay free, and don’t get tied up again in slavery to the law.” (NLT)
So, in the simplest of terms: Doing = Law; Being = Freedom.
As you look at your resolution list this first week of the year, may you resolve to be in Christ, and as Christ is in you, the Spirit will guide you to the things that will glorify Him.