Resolutions and Personal Development, Jesus Style
It's kind of late to talk about resolutions but maybe this is just the time that your resolutions need another jump start. And who says resolve is limited to New Year's Day? Lots of people rag on resolutions but I think they're a good thing. There is a lot about most people that need to change and we can change but nobody's gonna do it for us. We got to take an honest look in the mirror and be honest to God to ourselves about ourselves.
And as a Christian I believe in sanctification and personal development so a whole lot of things some critics have mocked as psychological or secular I actually find useful. Dale Carnegie, for one, had a lot of good things to say. The difference of course between secular personal development and biblical sanctification is that the aims are different. God's plan for personal development is that each person become a unique likeness of Jesus Christ. If that is God's plan for you and me, to be like Jesus, then one of us has got to change, and it ain't Jesus.
The other difference is that the Christian has greater resources to draw upon, namely the formative power of the Scriptures, the person of Jesus of Nazareth revealed in the Scriptures, and the presence of the Spirit. None of which lessens our responsibility to resolve, discipline, and work, even attack what needs to change.
The Apostle Paul stated in the indicative: "we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works." (Eph. 2:10). We are his, raised up, and sat with him in heavenly places. This is our status in Christ.
Yet Paul states in the imperative: "put off the old self ... and to put on the new self." (Eph. 4:22-24). And the goal? "...to attain... mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ." (Eph. 4:13). We are in Christ but we must strive to put on Christ. We are in Christ, but we are becoming like Christ. This means resolve is required, resolve to be like Christ.