The season of good intentions is here! It is a very short season—it only lasts a few days. For most of us for less than a week we consider our “New Year’s Resolutions,” then we celebrate our New Year, then we remember our resolution about a week, then we “forget” to keep the resolution for a week, then we resolve again, then we become irritated, and then we chunk the whole idea in the garbage as “a bad idea.”

It is amazing that there is once a year when “sensitive” subjects are magically, if briefly, “good ideas.” Consider an example. A “meddling ole doctor” suggests we need to seriously consider losing weight (what does that doctor know, anyway?). A nosey spouse suggests it might be a good idea if “we both stopped eating so much sugar” (something sweet tastes mighty good after a meal!). A well-meaning nutritionist who never ate anything good in her life suggests our family needs to cut down on our fat intake (she never once ate good fried catfish and hush puppies!). Then, suddenly, losing weight is a great idea from December 26 to 4 PM on December 31. For those few days eating too much food, reducing sugar, and reducing fat are good ideas openly discussed instead of sensitive subjects never to be mentioned. After all, it is great to dream about weighing 20 to 50 pounds less—just imagine what I could wear! However, “good-intention” dreaming and “determined commitment” are entirely different subjects!

Consider a much more serious matter than the problem of being overweight. Consider spiritual existence. What God does for each of us in Jesus Christ defies human imagination! That God could forgive all a person’s sins—from the worst to the most common, that He could respond to our flaws with “closed eyes”—from our most glaring to our “best kept secret,” that He could justify the inexcusable—if those in Christ repent, and that He could sustain hope with mercy and grace for a lifetime is beyond imagination.

And how shall we repay Him? By never making another mistake? By pulling out our wallet? By never being needy again? We must be kidding! We do the “faith” thing! We say, “Thank you!” We show our genuine gratitude by being responsible in who we become in Christ Jesus and by refusing to stop spiritual growth. Who we are and where we go does not matter, as long as it makes us more like Jesus.

With you, is that a good intention or a firm commitment?

David Chadwell

West-Ark Church of Christ, Fort Smith, AR
Bulletin Article, 3 January 2010

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