On this first day of the New Year 2022, most of us celebrated its arrival with great festivity & revelry. And why not! A New Year brings new hope, a new beginning, a chance to forget the failures of the past year and a resolution to make a difference in this new year.
Remember Last Years Resolutions? What were they anyway? I’m guessing they ran along the lines of…— to lose 10 lbs., OK. 20. To sign up for a membership at the gym, to stay in touch with friends, to visit my folks more, to spend less time working and more time with the family, to finally graduate. Sound about right?
The reality, however, is that most of us cannot even remember the resolutions we swore we’d commit to by January 30. If we can even find them.
In the same way we find it difficult to be faithful to other commitments; marriage, employers, financial obligations, schedules, we also ride out our new year’s resolutions until they fade into memory lost. We never intend for this to happen: it just does.
Instead of challenging you to stick to your guns and keep your new year’s resolutions, I think, rather, I’ll simply point you to a Biblical text that has stuck to me over the years. It is a simple phrase found in the second half of v.4 of Psalm 15. It is part of the answer to the duo question— “O Lord, who shall sojourn in your tent? Who shall dwell on your holy hill?”
“… he [who] swears to his own hurt and does not change;”
Seems simple enough. But most of us, Christians included, cringe at the thought of placing ourselves in any position that might cause us pain, hurt. If we didn’t make enough $$$ in a business deal— pass your loss along to the customer. If you’ve failed your family in any way, don’t even think of showing weakness and saying you’re sorry.
Above all other considerations, you must save face. You cannot admit wrong.
The Biblical admonition is quite contrary. It calls us to keep our commitments, to swear to our own hurt, to admit blame, to admit wrong. Of course, some people will seek retribution. Still there may be others who will offer forgiveness, solace. It is a risk, isn’t it?
The Biblical forewarning stands firm. Swear to your own hurt and do not change. This insures our standing next to God and our standing next to our fellow man. A good reputation all around.
Now THAT is a New Year’s Resolution worth committing to!
Honor God, honor people…, make a difference,
Dr. Gary Davis, President
NEXT— Review, Renew, Recharge!!!