Resolutions Worth Making … and Keeping

It's easier to keep resolutions when you're in community than if you're going at it alone.

When it comes to new year's resolutions, people are more willing to do something they know is right than to give up something they know is wrong.

I read on the Internet (so it must be true), that 84 percent of those surveyed resolved to start doing something positive while only 20 percent vowed to give up something. Also, according to an Internet survey, 63 percent of those questioned were still keeping their top resolution at the end of February. The rest of the resolutions were gone by January 1 at noon.

Here's the problem: People often have no idea how to make their resolutions reality. For instance, "I'm going to lose 20 pounds," but then I don't stick to a diet and exercise program. Or, "I'm going to grow closer to God," but I have no specific, long-term plan for making it happen.

That's the beauty of small groups. They are the place in the church to receive encouragement, conviction and accountability for keeping our commitments.

NOBODY GOES IT ALONE

We know that the best resolutions for church-going Christians are spiritual ones: read through the Bible during the year, have a quiet time every day, get rid of some sinful habit. But I believe most Christians in America still think they have to carry out their resolutions and the corresponding spiritual disciplines alone.

That's not the message of the Bible, however. The New Testament, especially, shows spiritual growth happening in the midst of community – encouraging one another, spurring one another on to love and good deeds, instructing one another, confessing sins to one another and praying for each other.

In an atmosphere of loving accountability in a small group, Christians can keep our resolutions through the year, as people trying to go it alone will fail ...

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