It was January 2016 and I was in a new environment pursuing a degree in something that I never thought I would be doing. My decision to pursue this degree had been made back in April of 2015. The degree that I was (and still am) pursuing was (is) a Bachelor of Arts in Biblical Studies. I was attending the Southeast Institute of Biblical Studies and one of the things that became a part of our daily school routine was chapel. During this first week of classes, the instructors at the school were the chapel speakers and one of the speakers that week was a man named Justin Morton. I later learned that he was the Youth and Family Minister for the Karns church of Christ. His chapel talk had to do with our New Year’s Resolution. He focused on how we make a New Year’s Resolution every year and how we often times do not follow through with our personal challenge. Then he gave us a challenge that I am so thankful for to this day.
The challenge that was laid before us soon to be preachers for the Lord’s church involved a two part New Year’s Resolution. Justin made that point that instead of making just one New Year’s Resolution, make two. The first included your physical resolution which might involve loosing weight, etc. The second one (which was meant to be the most important) was a spiritual resolution. This resolution included challenges such as: reading your Bible and meditating on what you read on a daily basis, developing a deeper prayer life, setting a goal for a certain number of quality Bible studies, etc. When I heard these two resolutions, I must confess to you that I had never made a spiritual resolution. I had always focused on a self-centered resolution that had nothing to do with my Heavenly Father.
Now I am happy to say that I make two New Year’s Resolutions every year. My theme for my two New Year’s Resolutions for 2018 is “Forward through Forgiveness.” On a physical level, this means that I am forgiving myself of the wrong things (and there are many) that I have done this past year that I am not proud of, and I am moving forward to become the best servant for the Lord’s Kingdom that I can most possibly be. My spiritual resolution is I am going to strive to become a more forgiving person to those who have and will do wrong, whether it be towards me or someone else. I am going to accomplish the challenge of learning forgiveness on a deeper level by praying and studying God’s Word, focusing on all the passages that reference or teach the concept of forgiveness. By doing so, I know that when I stand before my Heavenly Father on judgement day, he will judge me in a forgiving way as opposed to the alternative (Example: Parable of the Unforgiving Servant- Matthew 18:21-35). So this is my New Direction for 2018. My question to you is, “What are your New Year’s Resolutions going to be for 2018?”