Psalm 119:59 When I think on my ways,
I turn my feet to your testimonies;
We approach the new year. I must confess that I have a bit of a fascination with resolutions and the world going agog over them at this time of year is more fascinating still. But let it be known that resolution making is a distinctly Christian thing to do. Not New Year’s Resolutions particularly, just a spirit of constant review of oneself that leads a believer in Jesus Christ to resolve to be more Christlike, more holy, more godly, more obedient, less selfish, less envious, less idolatrous. There are many texts in the Scriptures that relate to the making of resolutions in one’s life. We consider one from Psalm 119:59.
The Psalmist will not turn to obey the Scriptures if he does not “think on his ways”. In other words, he needs to take stock of himself and change where he sees that he is not lined up with the Scriptures in his thinking, his behaviour, his plans. Socrates said that the unexamined life is not worth living. The Biblical take on that would be that the unexamined life will end up far from God and holiness and true worship and that is definitely not worth living.
Examining our lives demands time and quiet and reflection and peace. Our culture works against all those things. The demands on our time take us away from meaningful reflection and resolve to improve, to stop doing what is wrong and take up what God has called us to. Busyness. It is idolatrous in itself. And it feeds greater idolatry when it causes us to excuse our lack of fellowship with God, self examination and pursuits of Him.
Sometimes it is the church itself that robs us of our God given duties to think on our ways. We can get so busy doing God’s work, teaching, planning, fellowshipping, visiting, meetings, meetings, meetings, that we leave God behind. Stop and chew on that one for a minute. We get so busy doing work for God that we leave God out of our lives. Do not deny that this happens. It happens all the time. And it is sin.
But we seem to have grown up a church culture that thinks that being busy is the same thing as being holy. We joke about how full our schedule is. We carry a sense of pride when we can show others our overfilled daily planners. We have to sit down with our spouses and compare schedules just to go out on a date. We think that the churches that are not booked every night of the week are uncommitted. And we think that if there is something going on at the church that the measure of commitment is to be there no matter what.
I do not say all this to encourage spiritual laziness or “Sunday Christians” who only show up on Sunday or give no evidence of Christianity between the Sundays. Truth is, if more believers participated the way they should in the life of the church then there would be less burn out. Everyone would be doing a little bit instead of a few doing everything while the majority cheered them on from the sidelines. The point in all this is that both the busy and the spiritually lazy are suffering from the same sin. They do not take time to reflect and take stock and examine themselves in order to become more what God has called them to. The busy don’t do it because they can’t find time to stop and think. The non-busy don’t do it because they simply do not care and are happy with their spiritual inactivity.
We are in the last four days of 2010. Take some time in each of them this week to meditate on some Scripture and do some serious praying about where in your life you need to change. Examine your ways. And then resolve to do as God calls you to do, not merely as a New Year’s resolution, but as a change for the better that will last and be for your good as well as the Lord’s glory.