How are you doing on your resolutions? I am not here to discourage you or to hold you accountable; rather, I want to encourage you. If you have already given up, why not start again. As I say so often, you only fail when you refuse to get up after you fall. So, get up, and start moving forward again.
Having said that, let me remind you many resolutions fail because they are too vague. Resolutions need to have some specificity in order to consider the steps needed to achieve the ultimate goal. These steps then allow us to not only move forward, but to track the progress we have made. But resolutions, goals, and steps, are only as good as our belief in them.
And as I said last week, what many people consider resolutions are truly hopes and/or wants. It is difficult to live life if we are only focused on hopes and wants rather than on something sure.
What is something that you consider a sure thing?
What makes it sure to you? This question should hold up even when we challenge our assumptions. What we know to be true often changes over the course of our life. For instance, for most of us, truth begins with the idea that someone else will always feed us. Then, truth morphs (or adds) a dimension of fear that we will not be liked in school. Later, truth is defined by the quality of our relationships.
But none of those aspects of life are true! They are simply our perception in the moment.
Truth is, and must be, something that is beyond what we can experience. Why? Because all of us will interpret an event, a word, a conversation, or virtually anything, slightly different (at least!). How you interpret the moment may be very different from how I interpret it, and while one of us may be right, it is also possible both of us may be wrong.
So, truth must be outside of the human experience. But that does not mean that truth cannot be experienced. However, it would be better to say that truth can be known.
Truth can be known because God wants to be known. (I realize that someone reading this may be ready to stop reading, but please read through the next paragraph, at least.) Really, that is a staggering thought – God wants to be known. How do I know?
He sent Jesus (remember, finish this paragraph!). Jesus is recorded as saying, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” Few people are willing to make such definitive statements in our world today. Jesus also equated Himself with God. And Jesus came to live among us. If all of that is true, then God wants to be known (He came to us), He came as the truth, and He provides a means to know God directly. What other religious figure or school of thought provides so simple, yet profound, a way.
Now, I acknowledge that believing in Jesus requires faith. I do not acknowledge merely because it is my truth, but because the Bible (which I believe to be God’s truth) says so. But it also requires faith to believe most anything including major competitive marks to Christianity – such as evolution. No one was present to see the big bang happen, so if you believe that, then you do so not by science, but by faith. Likewise, I was not there to witness God creating the earth, so I believe it happened by faith.
But that is the point, our faith will guide us to the truth we wish to believe unless we try to objectively find the real truth. And that is difficult. We all have presuppositions. But I do believe truth exists. And the key to finding that truth is to first acknowledge I do not know all truth and thus that truth exists beyond me. And the same is true for you.
So, as you consider your resolutions this year (whether you are still keeping them or not), I invite you to search for true meaning. And true meaning cannot be found in something that was created (whether by humans, such as the stuff we buy), or through a bang which created the universe and all that is in it). For whatever we may believe requires some level of faith.
If truth exists, it deserves to be discovered. And, when it is discovered, it deserves to be embraced. That type of truth deserves to be followed. It deserves reflection (a part of my resolution). It deserves to be told. It deserves to be loved.
Ultimately, that is what most resolutions are about – an attempt to love or be loved. That may be an over-simplification for some people, but consider the number of resolutions made regarding improving ourselves. Why? So we look better, feel better about ourselves, have better relationships, etc. All of these reflect an aspect of love. And it is difficult to truly love unless trust is involved. And trust is a byproduct of truth. So, no matter what happened or didn’t happen with your resolutions during this first full week of 2020, take a moment to consider if this year could be the opportunity to find, and live by, truth that is far beyond yourself or anyone else you know, but has been made knowable by the One who truly is the truth.