This is the time of year when many people will sit down and write out a list of New Year’s resolutions. Unlike some, I’m not opposed to these sorts of resolutions. In fact, I believe that there are areas of our lives as individuals and families in which it’s perfectly fine to make resolutions. However, when it comes to our walk with the Lord I believe that a better word would be “commitment.” Let me explain. As I understand it, a resolution has more to do with personal resolve. It is a promise that I make to myself. “I resolve to lose ten pounds. I resolve to be more organized. I resolve to do this or that.” I have a personal goal and I determine in my mind that I will do certain things in order to accomplish that goal. I don’t see anything wrong or ungodly with making these sorts of resolutions. In fact, I have made a few of these myself for 2012.
However, I see a commitment as something different from a resoltion. A commitment isn’t a promise that I make to myself, it is a promise that I make to somebody else. (Some may prefer to use the word “covenant,” but I will stick with” commitment.”) We see these sorts of promises between people daily. “I commit to spend more time with my family. I commit to being a better husband. I commit to being a more faithful wife. I commit to…” You get the picture. It is a promise that one person makes to another.
Well, as the Whitt family looks forward to 2012 there are three simple, spiritual commitments that we have made as a family. These are rather broad in nature, but we are working together to put more concrete and specific action plans, as well as some markers, in place to know how we’re doing in these three commitments we’ve made to Jesus for 2012.
Let me share these three simple, spiritual commitments for 2012 and then share a few of the ideas that we’re working on together as a family. Maybe these three commitments will spark your spirit to make some similar commitments to the Lord for the new year.
As a family, we commit to –
* Love Jesus more dearly. We desire to love Him more and more each day. The only way we can do this is by getting to know Him better. As someone has said, “To know Him is to love Him.” We firmly believe this truth as a family. So, we commit to do whatever it takes to know Him better. How will we do this as a family? No doubt this will come through more time together, and as individuals, in His Word. No doubt this will mean more time given to talking with Him through prayer. No doubt this will mean spending more time in reflection and meditation on His great love letter to us – the Bible. This will obviously mean less time in front of the television, on the computer or even doing “fun” stuff together as a family. But, I want us to love Him more as a family in the last days of December 2012 than we do in these last days of December 2011 and if that means giving up some other things for the best thing, then so be it.
* Follow Jesus more closely.We believe that as we know Him and love Him more then we will have His heart and mind in the decisions that face us as a family. We realize that in years past we have often operated according to, and made decisions based on, our personal wants and desires. That’s not to say that these were sinful decisions, I don’t believe that they were, but we desperately want to be filled with His Spirit and walk in His Spirit more in 2012 than ever before. As we see our children turn five and three this year, as there begin to come into our lives different decisions in regards to what extracurricular activities and what the general focus of our family will be, we want to make sure that we are walking just as closely to Jesus as possible. Adrian Rogers said that even though God doesn’t have favorites, He does have intimates, and we desire to have a more intimate relationship with Him in 2012.
* Serve Jesus more faithfully. I’ve got to admit that as a pastor’s family that has always tried to lead by example and be at the forefront of the charge, this will take some serious consideration to know exactly how this will flesh out. It may have more to do with our motives and focus than simply rearranging or stacking more stuff on our plate. This may actually mean not doing as much in 2012 in order to be more effective in what we do for Jesus. It may require us to reevaluate some of the “good things” we’re doing in order to do the “best thing” that Jesus wants us to do. So, I’m not sure how this commitment will come about in 2012, but I do believe that as we know Him better, love Him more and walk closer to Him as a family, Jesus will show us the areas that we should be more faithful in our service to Him.
So, there you have it. These are the three, simple spiritual commitments that we have made as a family. These may or may not be the same commitments that your family would make. However, I really want to encourage you to sit down together as a family and consider some ways to grow in your relationships with each other and with the Lord.
You see, more than anything, I want my children to see Jesus in their parents and I believe that this will only happen as Kim and I love Him more and walk closer with Him on a daily basis. I also want my children to love Him and want to serve Him faithfully and I believe that this will happen if we will instill these spiritual disciplines into their young hearts and lives and then provide an atmosphere in our house that draws them to walk closer with Jesus. These are just a few of the reasons why the Whitt family has made these three simple, spiritual commitments for 2012.