I’m not much for New Year’s Resolutions. To me, they are thinly veiled goals, which the average person isn’t good at setting and keeping anyway. I’m not a big goal setter, so it only makes sense that I wouldn’t be a resolution setter.
I read yesterday where John Stickley, in writing about the same topic, quoted the Apostle Paul who said,
For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.
That’s quite a resolution. But for the not-yet follower of Christ this type of resolution probably carries little weight. Even for the follower of Christ it needs to be unpacked a little.
I thought I would take a shot at unpacking it by talking about affection. Typically, our affections are stirred toward someone or something. It’s a general fondness or liking of someone (something). And when we have an affection towards someone (something) we are usually influenced by that person (thing). I’ve started thinking about what stirs my affections for Christ. This is not new, others have written about it before, but it’s a new way of thinking for me. So, what are those things in my life that stir my affections for Christ…those things that put my focus where it should be and result in a natural worship of God and an increased involvement in His mission. Here’s a short list of things that stir my affection for Christ. It’s not exhaustive, will probably change, and is no particular order:
- spending time with Julie
- the laughter of my children
- the book of Romans (the Apostle Paul’s letter to the church in Rome)
- anything by John Piper (sermons, books, podcasts)
- a good conversation with close friends
- most songs by U2
My encouragement to you in this new year…find those things that stir your affections for Christ and focus on them. Don’t resolve to be a “good” person or a “better” person. One, what is a “good” person anyway, and two, you won’t succeed. Instead, allow your affections for Christ to be stirred and you will be better for it.