Lose weight, earn more money, quit smoking, and more education are likely found in the top ten list of New Years Resolutions. These, like most resolutions, are good and worthwhile commitments to self-improvement.
Yet as I was reading my Bible, a verse jumped out reminding me of something eternally good and worthwhile that uniquely aids in my ongoing commitment to self-improvement:
II Corinthians 5: 9 “We make it our goal to please him.”
“To please him“. A goal of pleasing God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. Hmm.
I paused, then asked myself, “How can I please God?” What is it that really makes Him smile?
Before turning back to the Scripture, my mind began scrolling through a brief list of possibilities:
- do more ministry (busy, busy!)
- build a bigger, better ministry (proof of God’s blessing, right?)
- live a trouble -free life (now that’s faith!)
But then I was gently nudged away from popular contemporary thought and returned to a Biblical path which I found quite distinct. Some truths I rediscovered on how I can please God:
- Micah 6:8
- Do right
- Be kind
- Walk humbly with God
- Psalm 51
- Have truth in my heart
- Have a broken and contrite heart
- Psalm 46:10
- Stop running so much
- Take time to know that He is God
- Colossians 1:10
- Bear fruit in my good works
- increase my knowledge of God
- Thess 2:3-6
- Stop being a people pleaser
- Stop flattering others
- Not cover my greed
- I Thess 4:1-12
- Live pure
- Avoid sexual immorality
- Control my body
- Mind my own business
- Work with my hands
- Live quietly
- Hebrews 11:6
- Have faith that God exists and rewards me when I seek Him
There are more, but this is a good basis for now. The anomaly I suspect in this is that self-improvements will come as I make it my ambition to please God rather than myself.
Truly a rewarding resolution.