‘RESOLUTION’ DIFFERENT FROM ‘GOAL’
By Danny Minton
I Am Resolved…
As I stepped on the scales this morning, the LED screen came on, flickered a little, then went blank. Maybe it needs a new battery I was thinking, so I stepped off and then on again. Nothing. But the battery isn’t that old was my thinking, so I tried it one more time. This time it worked, but when it stopped at my weight, I was positive it needed a new battery since the number, obviously inflated, couldn’t be correct!
It’s that time of year again. Everyone is making New Year Resolutions. Mostly I see the same ones in some form or fashion: lose weight, get in shape, quit some bad habit, read the Bible daily, get organized, get out of debt, keep in touch with family, etc. The list goes on and on; same lists, new year.
They aren’t resolutions, but admirable goals. You see, a goal is something we want to achieve. It’s something to shoot for and keep in our sights. If we don’t reach it, we’ll try again. Every year I set goals, most of which I fail to kept to the one hundred percent level, but only in part. I can only remember keeping one New Year’s resolution in my life.
A resolution, on the other hand, is the way we approach our goals. We are looking for “reSOLUTIONS” to areas we feel we are lacking. We’re trying to find a way to solve them and make ourselves a better individual. To be resolved means to make up your mind that you are going to be successful. To be resolute carries the meaning of being firm, stubborn, steadfast, tenacious and unwavering.
The reason we don’t keep our resolutions is primarily that we don’t have a resolute attitude. Many of us start out and then get what Zig Ziglar called the “loser’s limp.” You know what that is, don’t you? You’ve seen it. You watch a race and see an athlete who sees that he is going to lose, usually in an embarrassing way, so to save face he reaches back and grabs the back of his thigh as if he’s pulled a muscle or maybe she starts hopping on one foot as if she turned an ankle. The crowd responds with empathy, and the athlete doesn’t look so bad for not fulfilling his or her goal. They were saved by the “loser’s limp.”
Paul wrote to the Corinthians “Do you not know that in a race, all the runners run but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.” As you consider your goals, if they are worthy make them true resolutions. But make the first one to be like Jesus. Then, when you have achieved them you can be as Paul when he said in a letter to Timothy “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”
As I sit here writing this and sipping on my cup of black coffee, I‘m reminded of the only New Year’s resolution I ever kept, made some 35 years ago. No more sugar or cream in my coffee. Not a biggie, but it does show that anything we set our minds to can reach accomplishment if we make an effort.
Have a great New Year. As for me, my resolution is changing the battery out of my scales today.
Danny Minton is Pastoral Minister and Elder at Southern Hills Church of Christ