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The problem with New Year's resolutions is that they often end up in the back of the closet soon after the Christmas presents you didn't need and don't know what to do with.  We break them and discard them. But there is a better Christian model

 


Weekly Reflection: Pastor Dana Reardon
January 1, 2007

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Make a resolution for 'God-improvement'

How are you doing with your New Year's resolutions?  I am doing 100 per cent with mine.  Of course that is because I am writing this ahead, on New year's Eve to be exact.

We always have good intentions with New Year's resolutions.  Most of them are about being better stewards.  Are yours.  If you have promised yourself to eat less and move more or any combination thereof, then you are working on being a better steward of the body that God has given you.  Oh sure it may be for vanity reasons as much as for health, but it will still improve your stewardship.  Sometimes it is not our motives but the results that count. 

Maybe it is about dealing with drinking too much.  Maybe it is about gambling.  Addictions are questions of stewardship too.  They are a question of who or what you have let have control of your life.  Those you should let God have charge of.   If you spent too much on Christmas, or even if you didn't, your resolution might call for you to be more careful with your money.  That is about stewardship also.

Stewardship is not just about what we give, but how we manage all of what God gives us.  In fact, a model that is often proposed is called 10-10-80.  We give 10 percent.  We save 10 percent and we live on 80 percent. Maybe your resolution is about better recycling or other questions of stewardship of the earth. Or maybe it is about better stewardship of the relationships God has given you.

The problem with New Year's resolutions is that they often end up in the back of the closet soon after the Christmas presents you didn't need and don't know what to do with.  We break them and discard them. But there is a better Christian model than the yearly one of self improvement.  It is a daily one of God improvement. 

No, not improving on God, but on letting God strengthen you and forgive you as you work on any changes.  There is no forgiveness with New Year's resolutions.  Once they are broken they can't be fixed.  But as Christians we wake up every morning and remember that we are God's and in God's care.  We have been baptized into God's love. 

And we ask forgiveness for where we fell short the day before and we ask for strength to meet the day ahead.  When we are broken we can be fixed.  It is never too late.  There is always a new day.  And you don't have to wait until next year to begin.

 Lord, Bless as this New Year begins as you have blessed us all along our way.  May we make each day yours and turn charge of who we will be to you.  Amen


Copyright 2007, The Rev. Dana Reardon. All rights reserved. Used by permission. Email her at mspastor@aol.com.


The Rev. Dana Reardon is pastor at St. Paul Evangelical Lutheran Church, Warwick, RI.  A lifelong Lutheran, she came to ordained ministry after 21 years in nursing, mostly in pediatric intensive care.  She graduated from Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia in 1998 and served 4 years in Upstate New York before becoming a New Englander.  She is still trying to understand the accent.  While in the Upstate New York Synod she chaired the Stewardship Team.  That began her fascination with what makes stewards -- and more, what makes for generosity. She has three amazing daughters: Pastor Reardon says much of what she knows of life she learned from them.