It’s that time of year again, time for people to set their New Year’s Resolutions. Usually they involve losing weight, quitting a bad habit, spending more time with family or finding that “special someone”. In the past I have had a few resolutions of my own, which I usually break sometime in February. I have tried to exercise more, cut down on my soda intake, and cut down the times I go out to eat to save money. For the record, I think New Year’s Resolutions are kind of silly. If I really wanted to enact a positive change to my life why wait until January 1st? This year I am taking a different approach to New Year’s Resolutions. I’m calling it: New Year’s Repentance Resolutions. The Christian life is one of repentance; so any resolution should be based on repentance and a total dependency on God’s mercy.
The first “Repentance Resolution” is to read at least one hour a day. Thirty minutes reading The Bible. Thirty minutes reading Lutheran books (The Book of Concord, The Small Catechism, or any other sound theological books).
The second “Repentance Resolution” is to meet with my pastor once and month for private confession and absolution. While confession and absolution in the divine service bring the same forgiveness, private confession and absolution allows you to confess in specifics the sins you struggle with most. I would also suggest asking your pastor for communion during this meeting.
The third “Repentance Resolution” is to confess Jesus Christ where you wouldn’t normally do so. I try to do this at work by asking people general questions about church and religion. Listening to them talk about their beliefs so you can talk to them about Jesus.
The fourth “Repentance Resolution” is to spend time with fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. This could be time with your children reading bible stories, meeting a church member for coffee, or attending a church group you previously hadn’t considered. Gathering with other saints to hear God’s Word every Sunday and receive communion as often as it is offered.
The fifth and final “Repentance Resolution” is to Repent. In daily prayer confessing your sins and asking our Father in heaven for forgiveness. Asking loved ones for forgiveness when you have sinned against them and forgiving them when they sin against you. We repent of our sins knowing without question that Jesus Christ forgives us and takes away all our sin.
These are just a few resolutions I will “try” to keep in 2014, I ask you all to submit other ideas to help your brothers and sisters in Christ stay steadfast in the faith in 2014.