We all make New Year’s resolutions that we usually end up breaking. Diets, television habits, being more involved in something, spending more time with loved ones. They, like the things we say we will give up for Lent, are often temporary or short term.
But what about for the long haul? Our faith walk and discipleship require more than just temporary or short term sacrifices and actions. It’s life long. And we choose to keep the resolutions we make, just as we consciously choose how to live out our discipleship.
We have seen witness to that in years past. Our church has been actively involved in mission work to Alabama and Mississippi the past two years to aid victims of Hurricane Katrina. Yes, that was two years ago. Had some folks not been committed for the long haul, the victims that are still homeless and in despair would now be receiving no help at all.
As human beings, we are very short-sighted and our memories are short-term. We often choose to ignore or rationalize the challenges and opportunities that confront us daily on our walk with Christ. These were the very things the Apostle Paul warned us about when he shared with us the costs of discipleship.
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing. – 2 Timothy 4:7-8
But being in for the long haul has its rewards, too. There is joy in finding that God can use us as a part of His plan. And there is peace in knowing that our sacrifices, just as Jesus’ sacrifice, are not in vain, and that we are redeemable people.
So make some good resolutions this year. But make some that will stick. And more importantly – make some that will, in the long haul, make a difference in God’s Kingdom.