The New Year can be a chance to start over, put the past behind us and faithfully serve God and others. Every year we hear resolutions involving exercise, volunteer service or spending more time with family. These are not bad, but they are often not specific and are a recycling of the same old things. Therefore, I suggest setting goals that are specific, measurable and a little different than previous resolutions. Here are a few examples:
1. Stop expressing outrage over the ‘immoral’ lives of Hollywood celebrities. If you don’t want to expose yourself or your children to Miley Cyrus, select the ‘off’ function on your remote control. Which leads me to the next resolution…
“… if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” Philippians 4:8
2. Have a weekly family/friend night that does not involve electronics. No computer games, television or movies, but activities that require human interaction. Meals, board games, cards and taking walks. Speaking of electronic devices…
3. Turn off your smart phone at the dinner table, and leave it off for the duration of family nights. Technology brings the world together, but also creates distance between family members and friends.
“And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another…” Hebrews 10:24-25
4. Avoid shopping simply for the sake of luxury, and buy only what you need. Rather than putting more money in a ceo’s pockets, put your money to better use. Give to a local charity. Offer a microloan to help someone in Ecuador, Haiti, or Uganda get their business off the ground. Microplace is a great place to do this.
“One gives freely, yet grows all the richer; another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want.” Proverbs 11:24
5. When you do make purchases, keep in mind the people who made the product. Was the sweater made in a sweat shop? Was the coffee farmer paid a fair price by the corporate retailer? Did the discount produce cost a farm worker a living wage? Lower prices often come at the expense of others, so buy local, and buy some fair trade goods.
“Do justice and righteousness, and deliver from the hand of the oppressor him who has been robbed.” Jeremiah 22:3
These are some of mine, and I encourage you to develop resolutions that are specific, measurable, and help you be a blessing to others.