Rethinking Your New Year’s Resolutions
Lately, there has been a dispute in my home. I am a task-driven person who makes long lists, and has many goals I want to achieve. Sometimes these goals can come first before the needs of my family. I recently decided to work on a second master’s degree. This is in part because the institution I work for offers its employees a free class each semester. My wife has not approved of this new venture. “You already have a master’s degree and a doctorate. Why don’t you spend your time doing something else?” she has asked with an annoyed tone in her voice. My response was quick, “because I am a lifelong student. I love learning.”
After this, my wife sent me a text message with this Bible verse: “But regarding anything beyond this, dear friend, go easy. There’s no end to the publishing of books, and constant study wears you out so you’re no good for anything else. The last and final word is this: Fear God. Do what he tells you” (Ecclesiastes 12:12,13, The Message).
At first, I was slightly upset because the Bible verse was a proof text to advance her argument. However, I started to dwell on this passage. Why am I really pursuing more education? Is this the right season for me to continue my studies, or should I be spending this extra time being a father or husband?
As I ponder my New Year’s resolutions, I have been considering how my goals can be widened to include my family, rather than my own personal desires. Rather than losing weight, can I refocus the goal to making healthy lunch choices for the kids and plan one physical activity with the family each week? Instead of increasing my personal Bible reading, perhaps we should revisit our weekly family devotion time.
King Solomon reminded us that it is easy to follow your personal desires, but what really matters is living out God’s desires and purpose. “Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails” (Proverbs 19:21 NLT).
As you begin to make your New Year’s resolutions, consider widening your goals so it benefits your family before yourself.
Kumar Dixit is the WGTS 91.9 Chaplain