Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for January 26th, 2010

David Powlison on New Year’s Resolutions

Source: Read the whole article here http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/justintaylor/2009/12/31/david-powlison-on-new-years-resolutions/

 

  • Some resolutions are petty, but most resolutions make a profound statement. They express a sensed need for moral reformation. Gluttony, laziness, drunkenness, overspending and debt, loveless isolation from others, joyless workaholism, peaceless anxiety, restless entertainment, sexual self-indulgence, bitterness and estrangement from kith and kin, slovenly disorganization . . . these provide grist for resolutions to change. … I was struck by how significant the issues were. “Lose weight, quit drinking, smell the roses, and treat my family better” are not trivial matters – when properly framed.
  • That’s the rub: proper framing. Whether petty or profound, New Year’s resolutions as such merely express good intentions. They describe self-referential problems – “I find abc displeasing about myself.” They make no reckoning with the power of our passions, fears, habits . . . inner sinfulness, sin directly against God Himself . . . and with the power of outer evils (including enculturation) that allure and constrain us. They propose self-dependent solutions – “I resolve to do xyz to change myself.” Change depends on fickle will-power and on common-sense strategies for self-management (e.g., “set achievable goals that are personally meaningful, and take small steps”). So they fail in large measure. Or, even when they succeed, they create absolutely no reasons to “rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances.” They make no reckoning with either the chief end of man, or the madness in our hearts while we live, or the inexpressible gift of God to sinful, dying people. Self-referential resolutions function within a self-salvation project, however noble and desirable the proximate ends in view.
  • Furthermore, whether petty or profound, New Year’s resolutions express purely individualistic intentions. A self-improvement plan finds no corporate context for commitment, no reasons for joint effort and mutual accountability, and no participation in a common cause bigger than any and all of us.

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: