I came across a dreadful survey about New Year’s resolutions: 36% break their resolutions by the end of January, and 56% will break them by the end of July. Wow! That is not comforting. Most of the people will not be able to keep their resolutions for one year. When we go to the dictionaries we find this definition for resolution: “a resolve; a decision or determination: to make a firm resolution to do something.” or “a decision to do something or to behave in a certain manner.”
That information brought to my mind something more important in our lives: our Faith or Christian resolutions. Throughout our faith life we made many resolutions, the Bible calls them vows, and in some churches we call them promises or commitments. The idea is that God, by His grace and mercy, called us and we responded. Most of the time we say publicly, that we will accept His call.
In every aspect of our Christian life, there are vows involved. When we were baptized, our parents and guardians promised that they would pray for us, bring us to church, nurture us in the Christian faith, etc. Not only that, but the congregation also is invited to make a vow that she will support, pray, and help in the education of those children in their journey with Christ. When we made our Public Profession of Faith, we reaffirmed those vows. We promised that we would follow Christ, be involved in the life of the church, support her ministry and God’s mission in this world. When we married, we made some serious vows to our spouses, promising fidelity, love, care and support, in good and bad times.
The leaders of the churches, pastors, elders, and deacons, also made important vows that they would lead the congregation based on the Word of God. They would serve, teach, guide, visit, participate, and be an example of Christian life to the members. In this case the congregation promises that they will respect, obey, support and pray for their leaders.
Do you remember those vows? If you are a member of a Christian church, you made one or more of these at a certain point in your life. Unfortunately, like New Year’s Resolutions, we break them very easily, and sometimes we do not even feel badly about it.
The biggest problem for us in this situation is that we made those vows not to people or to ourselves, but to God Himself. And He takes those vows seriously. This is what the Scripture has to say about making vows: “If you make a vow to the LORD your God, do not be slow to pay it, for the LORD your God will certainly demand it of you and you will be guilty of sin. But if you refrain from making a vow, you will not be guilty. Whatever your lips utter you must be sure to do, because you made your vow freely to the LORD your God with your own mouth. Deuteronomy 23:21-23.” And in another place we find this: “When you make a vow to God, do not delay in fulfilling it. He has no pleasure in fools; fulfill your vow. Ecclesiastes 5:4.”
Before you work on the vows/resolutions for this year, I would like you to revisit the vows that you have already made to God: in your baptism, profession of faith, ordination, wedding, etc. Work on these before you add more resolutions to your life.
Have a blessed week and a wonderful year,