Sound Teaching

This is the teaching site of the West Side church of Christ in Fort Worth, TX. Unless otherwise indicated, all materials were written and prepared by Stan Cox

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Resolution Realities

inthenews

Sarah Thompson, 32, of Port Dickinson, a lecturer in health and physical education at Binghamton University, noted that she has “goals for the year, but most of them are quite mundane, actually — projects such as things I want to do around the house or a tangible change I can make to one of my classes.”

She said she views a New Year’s resolution as “setting a person up for behavioral change.”

“The concept is great — it gives people a fresh start and a new outlook for the year,” Thompson noted, “but a really good follow-through isn’t always there.”

“The problem is one of people’s shortcomings — they don’t do their homework ahead of time,” the educator said. “They want to lose weight, work out, eat healthy or stop smoking, and they haven’t done the preparation for gathering the information to be able to take the action.

“They need an action plan to follow,” Thompson stressed. “They need realistic goals, and they need a realistic time frame for the changes.

“I see it all the time,” the instructor related. “People want to lose weight, but what they see as realistic isn’t. They want to lose 50 pounds, but they’re not going to lose it in a short period of time.”

Fundamentally, Thompson stressed, the issue is “how people intend to make lifestyle changes. The hard part is maintaining those lifestyle changes forever.”

excerpt from article by Bill Wingell
Press & Sun Bulletin, Binghamton, NY

Analysis:

The new year is always a good time to make resolutions. But, as indicated in the article above, a common problem is that resolutions are not always reasonable.

When unrealistic expectations are not met, discouragement often follows. Discouragement quickly leads to failure. It is better, whether the resolution is to lose weight, organize, or moderate the diet, to set small goals which can be easily met. Small victories can lead to reinforced resolve and larger victories in the future.

Spiritually this strategy can likewise be effective. Rather than setting the goal of converting “X” number of souls in 2005, we can instead set a small goal of inviting someone to services each week; or asking a co-worker once each month to study the Bible; or some other easily obtainable goal.

Rather than saying, “In 2005 I am going to become a mature Christian”, take just one of the Christian graces listed in 2 Peter 1, (for example ‘brotherly kindness’), and concentrate on it in the coming year. Design strategies to accomplish your goal, and diligently persist in implementing them.

Instead of the “big picture” statement that, “I am going to pray without ceasing” (cf. 1 Thess. 5:17), pick a time of day that suits a period of prayer and meditation. It may only be for only 15 minutes or so, but be diligent to keep that time reserved for prayer.

It has been said that a long journey begins with a single step. By taking each step, one at a time, and diligently accomplishing the “small things”, we can continue our Christian growth by going “on to perfection” (cf. Hebrews 6:1).

So why not sit down today, set some realistic and reasonable goals to become more spiritually minded in 2005, and then diligently apply yourself to the work!