We can likely create support groups based on a lifetime of well-intentioned—but failed—New Year’s resolutions. The new year, optimistically, offers another chance to get it right—better diet, better budget, better life. In 2017, I will reflect on what I didn’t get right in 2016 and aim for a course correction within the next 365 days, when I will take self-inventory again.
There is something about the idea of “new” that seems to give us hope. A new kitchen will magically make us better hosts. New clothes will somehow make us like ourselves more. And new relationships will bring us self-acceptance—or so we think. Unfortunately, research shows that we can’t solve “inside problems” with “outside solutions.” In fact, the definition of addiction and compulsion is based on such attempts. Let’s pause then before we run to the health club, the shopping mall or sign up for match.com.
But what if we choose just one resolution this year? And what if that one resolution is love?
As we step into the new year, let’s reflect on what Christ himself offered as a “new” resolution for life in general. In John 13:34-35, He says: “I give you a new commandment that you love one another as I have loved you. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples.”
As we read in the scriptures, Jesus’ “resolution” for us is to love in certain way—HIS way. And as we scroll through our lists of resolutions, perhaps, we might consider “how we love.”
In When Hearts Become Flame, by Deacon Stephen Muse, the author offers a poignant refresh on 1 Corinthians 13, or the Apostle Paul’s words on love.
Love is great-hearted and unselfish.
Love is not emotionally reactive.
Love does not seek to draw attention to itself.
Love does not accuse or compare.
Love does not seek to serve itself at the expense of others.
Love does not take pleasure in other people’s suffering, but rejoices when the truth is revealed and meaningful life is restored.
Love always bears reality as it is, extending mercy to all people in every situation.
Love is faithful in all things, is constantly hopeful and meets whatever comes with immovable forbearance and steadfastness.
Love never quits.
What if we were to commit to one sentence from this list and choose it as our resolution for 2017? Which one will you choose? How will you love?