I gave up on New Year’s Resolutions several New Years ago.
That meticulous list of goals, priorities, and expectations sure seemed within reach for my Type-A personality. Until mid-January, when reality set in. I couldn’t simply adjust my lifestyle to include an hour of exercise per day, a book per week, and the completion of a time-consuming project that I’d put off for years. And while I truly wanted to increase daily prayer time and Bible reading and to memorize large chunks of Scripture, the method I chose was essentially, “Do it all. And do it now.” I had all the right intentions, but I accomplished next to nothing, because my ideals were far too lofty.
If I’ve learned one practical tip for everyday living, it’s this: Quality is better than quantity.
I’m no expert on fitness or dietary choices as anyone can tell you, but, as one who has learned the hard way when it comes to spending quality time with God, I have a few Bible-related suggestions that fit in the “might-last-past-January” category.
Resolved: To Soak in A Few Solid Chunks of Scripture
I am not a proponent of “Through the Bible in a Year” plans. For two reasons:
1) It rarely happens. You get to the part where you spend day after day in Leviticus, and that handy little plan is out the window.
2) Slow reading, and thinking, and asking questions, and wrestling, and discussing, and enjoying the Word is at a minimal, because you’re just trying to get through it and check it off.
I suggest you choose a chunk of Scripture and read it over and over for months. And don’t just read. We’re talking hours joyfully spent before a glorious masterpiece, not your morning newspaper routine.
Resolved: To Make the Bible a Highlight of the Day
If the “study” idea scares you, come up with a different word.
Give the Bible your favorite time of day. Favorite place. Favorite notebook and pencils. If you love coffee, make coffee your Bible-time treat. If you are an artist or musician, turn your Scripture thoughts into sketches and songs. Do what works to make the Bible the thing you love more than food, sleep, TV, sports, games, and all other less important things.
If you don’t think that’ll last past January, I question not your desire, but your creativity.
Resolved: To Talk Bible
People will think you’re crazy. Until they learn the “language.” And then they’ll wonder why they kept their Bible-thinking to themselves.
If your Christian friends don’t talk about the Word, you can make the change. By talking about it. And if they love the Word, they’ll love talking about it.
Why talk about the Bible? To talk about it, you must think about it. Mindlessness is one of the greatest deterrents to a Scripture-saturated life. Become a multi-tasking pro, and make good use of your moments. And grab some people to join the conversation.
Resolved: To Fight for A Word-Filled Life
Just about everything under the sun is an enemy to the greatest joy you can know in this life. People, time, plans, work, school, hobbies, tendencies, culture. They all work against you.
So, really, this isn’t about resolving. This is about fighting. And as with any good fight, the battle is strong, and the Enemy is powerful. Resolve won’t get you anywhere. Only the help of your Ally will. And as unrealistic as it seems, you have, on your side, the One who always wins. So fight on.
[image credit: Wikipedia Commons]