New Year’s Resolution—or Not
A trip to the local grocery store tells me we’ve started a new year. In December, shelves loaded with Christmas candy and holiday baking items greeted me as soon as I crossed the threshold. Now, a towering display of protein bars, vitamins and various forms of muscle-building shake mixes fills the front of the store. And almost every aisle boasts nutritious snacks, diet drinks and other items designed to appeal to those in New Year’s resolution mode.
Social media now allows us to share our formerly private pledges with the world. Declarations like “I’ll work out twice a day,” “I’ll lose 50 pounds,” or even “I won’t touch fats or carbs” fill my news feed along with pictures of the lifters, squatters, runners and dieters on my list of friends and followers.
Christians, of course, are just as likely as others to post these year-starting promises and to make others that sound more spiritual: “I’ll read the Bible through four times this year” or “I’ll memorize 15 Bible verses every week.”
But what about service? Where does it fit on our resolutions list? Deuteronomy encourages us to give God the firstfruit offering. For many believers, this means at least a tithe of our income belongs to God. But couldn’t we extend the idea of firstfruits to our ministry to others as well?
Instead of waiting for pleading letters or posts from your favorite nonprofit or other service organization, calendar some activities now. Does the local homeless shelter or food bank need people to serve or pack meals? Such ministries typically have many offers of help in November and December but fewer after the feel-good holiday season has passed. Local schools are back in session and (after appropriate background checks) often welcome volunteers. And what about summer mission trips? Committing to one now instead of later will give you plenty of time to gather both needed funds and prayer support.
Revitalize your commitment to God by giving of yourself in 2016. After all, a New Year’s resolution may change your life, but a service revolution? That can change the world.
Marti Pieper’s passion to read, write, and pray makes her life an adventure. Out of the Dust: Story of an Unlikely Missionary, the most recent of her books, received the Advanced Writers and Speaker’s Association’s Golden Scroll Nonfiction Merit Award. Connect with Marti on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or at martipieper.com.