Better Check the Map

“I am resolved to rise superior to every obstacle. With whom need I be afraid of measuring my strength? I will take Fate by the throat. It shall not overcome me. O how beautiful it is to be alive – would that I could live a thousand times!”

— Ludwig van Beethoven

Happy New Year my friends! As I think about new beginnings and the annual tradition of making resolutions, I wonder if we actually know what we are doing.

The above quote from Beethoven shows a man determined, excited, almost militant about moving forward and taking the fight to any adversary! 

“I am resolved!”

Maybe that is why I am a little hesitant to fully endorse the whole New Year’s resolutions fad. I don’t think people really approach their resolutions the same way:

  • My resolution is to lose weight
  • My resolution is to stop smoking
  • My resolution is to get my finances under control
  • My resolution is to finish school
  • My resolution is to be a better person (whatever that means)

To quote a line from one of my favorite movies, “I don’t think that word means what you think it means.” (Thank you Princess Bride).

When we resolve to do something, the trouble is that our thoughts really aren’t a resolution so much as they are a mild wish. But, there is good news… you can become resolved to do something(s).

Here’s an equation to help you out: (plan + energy) motive = resolution

PLAN – saying you want to lose weight is not a plan, it’s a vague goal. Saying you want to lose 10 pounds is still not a plan, it’s just a more specific goal. Working out 3 times a week and limiting calories to 1500 a day… that’s a plan.

ENERGY – this is all about movement. Stored energy doesn’t do you any good right now, when you make a resolution it’s time make your move. Taking steps, moving the ball, stepping out is not an option, it is essential. Physical, emotional, spiritual, and mental energy must expended.

MOTIVATION – adding a plan to energy is good, but when multiplied by the right motivation, you stand a chance of your resolution becoming reality. For the believer, the good news is that your resolution, plan and energy may be anything, but we can all focus on the same motivation!

Ecclesiastes 9:10 (ESV) Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might.

1 Corinthians 10:31 (ESV) So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.

If your motivation is to look good in the mirror, that will only last until that donut on a plate looks a little better.

If your motivation is to save money, then you’ll only stay strong until that super cool upgrade is released.

But, if your motivation is to honor the Lord, to serve Him and to make His name great… that will stand the test of time and endure the battle of the temptations.

So, for this year’s resolutions, have an actual plan, use real energy to act on that plan and find your motivation. Honor the Lord in all you do

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