Many are self-centered:
"I'll get into a size 6 jeans again!"
"I'll lose 20 pounds!"
"I'll get my cholesterol below 150!"
"I'll pay off one of my credit cards!"
"I'll quit smoking!"
Or, they're impossible to quantify:
"I'll be nicer to people!"
"I'll quit yelling at my family!"
"I'll be a better person!"
It's unlikely or impossible to obtain:
"I'll quit sinning!"
"I'll loose 75 pounds!"
"I'll get rid of $100k of debt in 6 months!"
"I'll win the lottery!"
"I'll max out the college entrance exams!"
All of the above are admirable goals in their own ways. Nearly all of them would serve to make your lives, or the lives of those around you better.
And, let's be honest. Many of them will disappear even before the Christmas leftovers are all gone from the freezer and the Christmas decorations are all down.
But those that DO last for a year? What do we gain from them? All too often, we receive flattery or approval from others to feed our pride. Or, maybe our health is better and we could even gain a brief extension on our longevity.
But, sooner or later, most of these lofty goals will be in the dust. Useless to ourselves. Useless to others. As my Mother used to often ask me about things I thought of as oh-so-important as a child, "How much will this thing matter in 100 years?"
For most of our resolutions - the unfortunate answer is "Not at all!"
I'd like to challenge you to make a New Year's Resolution THIS YEAR that you will still be happy that you made 100 years from now.
This is an amazing 3 minute video that EVERYONE should watch, especially when making plans for their next year:
I challenge you to read your entire Bible through this year. Or listen to your entire Bible in an audio format. Or, if that seems insurmountable to you, to read the New Testament all the way through this year, and gradually build up over a few years' time to reading the entire Bible. (I leave the One Year Bible icon and link in my sidebar all year for your convenience). If you prefer a plan that includes the Deuterocanonical books (or Apocryphal books) - which is to say the entire Bible for Orthodox or Catholic Christians, there's a plan here.
For a distinctly Orthodox Plan, Here ya go!
It's a resolution you'll never regret.
I know what you might be thinking, "Shouldn't I be feeding the poor instead?" "Shouldn't I go as a missionary instead?" "What good will it do me to read some book that was written a couple of Millennia ago? What does that have to do with life?"
Well, the Bible is God's written instruction to us. It tells us how to lead our lives to please Him. It tells us how best to love & serve others. How can we go DO that, if we haven't found out how? It teaches us how to live our lives in the way that is the most beneficial to US, too! It tells us how to prepare to stand before His Throne on Judgment Day. What could be more important than that? What could apply to our lives MORE than this time-tested, proven Book that so many have been willing to die rather than lose? If you read it, and hide it in your heart, God will give you the absolute BEST guidance on how to serve Him in this life.
Remember, Adam and Eve were held responsible for the academic sloppiness of deciding to believe the Serpent instead of God. Yet, we modern Christians with every advantage and every resource, readily believe so many lies the World tells us, without even bothering to brush the dust off of our Bibles and see if we are believing correctly.
Very little makes me more sad than discovering that a literate Christian who is Blessed to own a Bible doesn't value his or her Christian Faith enough to read the Bible on a regular basis. What a GREAT, TRAGIC loss!
Remember, that ALL of the Saints of the Church speak of the reading of the Scriptures in the highest terms.
And, the Bible itself proclaims, "All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right." (2 Tim 3:16, NLT)
No matter where you are in life, or in your relationship with God, the Prayerful reading of the Bible will help you.
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