You don’t need me to tell you how few people live out their New Year’s resolutions. And apparently, people’s expectations for resolutions aren’t even particularly high. According to an article I read in Business Insider, 94% of people say you should keep your resolution for at least a month. By March, the number is down to 78%. Fast forward to July, and only 36% of people think you should be expected to maintain your resolution.
A few years back, Andy Stanley took another approach. Instead of resolving to do something or to stop doing something, he suggested we think about who we want to be. He wrote an obituary for himself, including quotes from his wife, kids, associates, and friends, asking himself, “What would I like people to say about me at my funeral?” Working from those quotes, he figured out what kind of person he’d have to be to have people say those great things.
The first time I did this exercise, I thought about what I’d want my wife to say in my obituary. The words read, “Regi was a kind person. No matter the circumstances, he always took the time to use kind words.” So, instead of a New Year’s resolution, my ‘New Be resolution’ was to be more kind, not just in my words, but in the tone with which I said them. When I thought about what I’d want my kids and grandkids to say, it was, “Papa was consistently present; physically, mentally, and emotionally.” So, my ‘New Be resolution’ was “God, please remind me to shut off my phone and be fully present with whoever is in front of me, especially my kids and grandkids.”
Will you spend some time in these first days of 2019 thinking about what you would want to be said at your memorial service by those closest to you? Will you then translate those phrases of adoration into actionable promises to become more like that? Will you take specific action to allow God to make you a little more like Jesus this year?
Prayer: Lord, please show us how where we can be more like you in our closest relationships in 2019. For your glory and in your marvelous name we come. Amen.