By Quinton Lytle
What is your new year’s resolution? Do you have one? Or are you like many of us who have resigned trying to keep New Year’s resolutions because we just don’t seem to get very far. Why do new year’s resolutions not work? My pastor once pointed out that these vows of self-discipline typically fall flat because they deal with behavior and not with the heart.
So, is there a resolution that we can all make that will engage our hearts and lead to true life change? I think so. I encourage you—regardless of how long you’ve been a Christian—to grow in your relationship with your Savior. This will certainly be one of the hardest things to do, but it will also be one of the most satisfying and fulfilling things you could do this year.
Much like a marriage, be sure that this relationship is not governed merely by law or pragmatism. Your relationship with God is not something you HAVE to develop, but something that you GET to develop. God must be established as the end in Himself and not the means to some other end (see also Matthew 6:5-8).
I have several children and they often come to me asking for different things. This is fine, but what really delights me to the core of my being is when they come to me and say something along the lines of, “Dad, you are the best dad and I just want to spend time with you.” In that relationship, I am not an end to their means; the relationship is the end. I can’t tell you what that does for both my children and me. We really deepen together in times like those. They get to know and hear my heart and I get to know and hear their hearts.
Similarly, I have been married over twenty-five years, and if I use my spouse as a means to an end, it creates all kinds of problems. But when I go to her wanting nothing from her but to build our relationship, there is an excitement that occurs and a whole new freshness washes over us.
I can’t think of anything better to have as a resolution in this year of 2012. This pursuit will not disappoint. Personally I am so excited about this new years resolution or shall I say this new years relationship. Remember that this resolution (or, should I say “relationship”?) is not about simply changing our behavior but about engaging the heart. Are you committed to engaging your heart with your sweet Savior?