Every New Year brings a time of reflection. But rather than the usual resolutions of things to DO, I spent some time making a list of things to BE. Giving Shakespeare’s Hamlet his due, I ask myself, “To be or not to be?… That is the question.”
So, I’ve been thinking… “What do I want to BE this year and into the years to come?” And I came up with 5.
1. I Will Be Passionate
The Merriam-Webster dictionary says “passionate” is: “having, showing, or expressing strong emotions or beliefs.” So, I want to approach each day having strong beliefs about personally knowing and loving God… and I might even have, as an end result, the strong emotion of joy. I want to BE excited, thrilled, and happy at the thought of another day walking with Jesus.
Oswald Chambers once said,
“God never makes us bloodless stoics; He makes us passionate saints.” “Passion is usually taken to mean something from which human nature suffers; in reality it stands for endurance and high enthusiasm, a radiant intensity of life, life at the highest pitch all the time without any reaction.”
So, I will Be passionate about following Jesus. Yahoo!
2. I Will Be Diligent
“Diligent” is one of those words that has almost lost its meaning. Too often we use terms like “workaholic” and “nose to the grindstone” to communicate, as a negative, what should be the Biblically positive goal of diligence.
“So take diligent heed to yourselves to love the Lord your God.” Joshua 23:11
“Therefore, beloved, since you look for these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, spotless and blameless,” 2 Peter 3:14
I want to be that faithful, determined, and never-quitting Christ-follower who Jesus was talking to in Matthew 11:9 when, using strong emphasis in the Greek, He commanded the diligent action of,
“keep asking, keep seeking, and keep knocking.”
So, I will BE Diligent in my walk with Christ. Whew!
3. I Will Be Consistent
Consistency is the cure for hypocrisy. Good old Merriam-Webster’s says it means, “Always acting or behaving in the same way.” Isn’t that the absolute opposite of someone who acts certain ways at certain times and other ways at other times? I want to be a man who walks his talk. No matter what day of the week, or what time of the day, or who I’m with, or what I’m doing, I want to live what I say and say what I live.
“Let no one look down on your youthfulness, but rather in speech, conduct, love, faith and purity, show yourself an example of those who believe.” 1 Timothy 4:12
So, I will BE Consistent in practicing my faith before God and man. Every time, all the time!
4. I Will Be Motivated
Why do I do what I do? What wakes me up every morning? Do I just get up, go to work, come home, watch TV, and go to bed? That’s not a motivated life. Why do we do this thing called the Christian life? Why doesn’t every believer just say to himself, “I’ll kill myself and go to heaven where I’ll be eternally happy?” The answer is simple and challenging. Would killing yourself give God glory? A similar, often unasked question, is, “Does my living give glory to God?”
“Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” 1 Corinthians 10:31
We’re talking about going through every day doing what we do for God’s glory. That desire should put gas in our tanks, fire in our bellies, and praise in our steps.
So, I will BE motivated to live an intentional life of conducting myself in a way that God gets all the credit. It’s all Him!
5. I Will Be Willing
God gave the human race a tremendous gift when He allowed us to have free will. We can decide to accept His gifts of salvation and abundant living or not. I noticed in the gospel of John when the crowds heard Jesus speak, they just didn’t want to believe Him. Can you imagine? Jesus Himself gives an alter call and many just sit there, unwilling to get up and take a step of faith!
“And you are unwilling to come to Me so that you may have life.” John 5:40
The opposite reaction is when Isaiah heard the call of God and shouted out his willingness,
“Then I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, ‘Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?’ Then I said, ‘Here am I. Send me!’” Isaiah 6:8
Am I willing, whether living, working, and worshiping in Chattanooga or on a foreign mission field, to live my everyday life in obedience to God’s call? Am I willing when God asks me to be?
“… Walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God;”? Colossians 1:10
Therefore, I will BE willing. “Here I am!”
I want to leave with a challenge that goes along with the idea of being willing. Many of us are just like those crowds of unbelievers around Jesus… just unwilling to BE the five things I’ve been writing about. And that’s reality. None of these five will just happen to us. They all take effort, faith, and God’s grace. Are you willing? If you are, you will BE. But if you are not willing, you will NOT be. And that’s my homage to Bill Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Let’s all consider with him, “To BE or NOT to be?” Isn’t that is the question?
It’s a great year to BE passionate, BE diligent, BE consistent, BE motivated, and BE willing… or NOT!
Think about it.