Quotes about Resolutions-General
A life of resolve comes with a price tag. You will be tested by the lure of the world. But you must turn a deaf ear to the crowd and live instead for the approbation of Christ. There will always be a cross before a crown, sacrifice before success, and reproach before a reward. The call of discipleship will cost you popularity, possessions, and position. But God will use your commitment. The grace of God will be multiplied in you if you cultivate a fixed resolution to live for the glory of God.
Resolved: that every man should live to the glory of God. Resolved second: that whether others do this or not I will.
Do you fancy that the eternal God is to be put off with these vain resolutions and to be mocked with these idle dreams of what you will do, when you do nothing whatever? Oh, may God save you from such a delusion!
Since the Scriptures tell us in several places that the Christian life is a life lived by faith (Rom. 1:17; Gal. 2:20), some may feel that personal resolve and strenuous effort have no place. While no one should neglect or minimize the necessity of faith as it relates to Christian sanctification, no one should forget that Christian faith is not passive. Christian faith works itself out through personal resolve, self-discipline, and effort.
Unless our resolve is the out-flowing of the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit, we, like Peter, will fail (Mt. 26:31-34). As Jesus said to his disciples, “without Me you can do nothing” (John 15:5)… It is our responsibility to exert the effort and develop the essential disciplines of the Christian life if we are to become more like Christ. But as we resolve to discipline ourselves and to diligently pursue holiness, we need to know that there is a deeper truth underlying and empowering our experience – the powerful reality that God is the one enabling, compelling, and willing all that takes place.
For the Christian to be driven or motivated toward personal resolution by a change of the calendar frankly seems a little superstitious… To say that January 1st is somehow the best day to make personal resolutions is to pattern ourselves after two societies that were completely steeped in paganism… For us to then say that we are most significantly convicted of the need for change in the days or weeks leading up to January 1st is to say that the Holy Spirit is somehow constrained or motivated by the same pagan system of days that motivated the Romans and the Babylonians… As Christians we know that we are to live in a continual state of repentance, always being sensitive to the necessity for change, always pursuing holiness, and always seeking to obey Christ. To wait until January 1st, viewing it as the one time each year when we make what we hope will be the most significant of these changes is to say that they were not just as necessary on May 7th, or August 19th, or any other day of the year.
Perhaps one reason for the general failure of personal resolutions is our haste in making them. If we were to take some time to think, study, and pray before we hurry into another exercise in futility, maybe we would actually experience success. God promises that His people will ultimately be successful, not necessarily in worldly or vain pursuits, but in our pursuit of holiness. He has told us that we are being sanctified – we are being made like Christ (Rom. 8:29). But we also know that the main tool in our sanctification is not our own personal resolve, but rather God working in us through His Word (John 17:17). If the Bible is God’s best tool, we should make it ours as well.
Before making any resolution:
1. Consider the Scriptures carefully. Some matters for the Christian are clearly commanded or forbidden in the Bible… Other matters are not so clearly or specifically commanded or forbidden… It is in these areas where it is often profitable to make a specific personal resolution.
2. Consider your other necessary duties. As Christians, we have a number of pre-existing responsibilities that must take precedence over personal resolutions… Before making any personal resolution, ask yourself how it will affect other essential things (that God has commanded of you).
3. Consider how your family, your church, and the reputation of Christ in a watching world will be affected, either by your faithfulness, or by your failure to follow through (Luke 14:28-30).
4. (Consider) your motives…
a. Is it truly my goal in making this resolution to glorify God through obedience and self-discipline and to receive the praise that comes only from Him? Or am I trying to gain the approval and admiration of people? (cf. Luke 6:26; 1 Cor. 4:3-5).
b. Am I trying to appease my conscience by doing well in this one area in order to distract myself from conviction of another sinful behavior? (cf. Matthew 15:1-6).
c. Am I acting defensively, angrily, or in prideful response to criticism from another person? In other words, do I have a sort of “I’ll show them” motive for making this resolution? (cf. Phil. 2:3).
5. Consider the cost. We don’t generally need to resolve to do the easy things. The difficulty, discomfort, self-denial, and even sometimes persecution involved in the Christian’s pursuit of holiness are the very aspects that make personal resolution necessary. Consider these carefully, weighing them opposite the rewards. Then determine that by God’s strength you will endure, understanding the price you must pay, and knowing that what you are doing is good and right.