A boy was running along a beach gathering up all the best seashells that he could find. As he bent down to pick up a certain shell he caught sight of the biggest and most beautiful shell he had ever seen. It was just up ahead of him as he made his way up the shoreline. The boy thought to himself, “I won’t run up there and get that one just yet. I’ll just keep making my way up to it picking up shells as I go.” So he continued along with his collecting, making steady progress toward that big, beautiful shell. But what happened just as he got to the shell? A huge wave came crashing into the shore and flooded water over the shell, and when the water receded the shell was gone.
Each New Year’s day most of us make certain resolutions. Truth be told, though, those resolutions typically don’t get kept. And when the next New Year’s day comes crashing upon the shore of our life and recedes back out into time, it takes with it all of those big, beautiful resolutions that were still lying there.
For the Christian, New Year’s resolutions often have a spiritual connotation to them. For example, the Christian might commit to read the Bible more, pray more, give more, or attend church more in the upcoming year. Such resolutions are fine in and of themselves, but I do want you to think about something: Once a resolution becomes what we might classify as a “vow” to God, that puts it in a much more serious category. Consider the words of Ecclesiastes 5:4-5:
When you make a vow to God, do not delay to pay it; For He has no pleasure in fools. Pay what you have vowed – better not to vow than to vow and not pay.
Christian, keep this passage in mind this New Year if you plan to make any spiritual resolutions and bring God in to serve as a witness to your dedication. I’m not telling you not to make such resolutions; I’m simply pointing out that God’s word does have something to say on this subject. So if you are going to go down that road, be sure that you are honestly prepared to travel it to its end.