Have you made your resolutions yet?
No doubt there are many resolutions out there to lose weight, eat better, save money, read more, spend less, be more daring, take a trip, or any number of other things.
But what do all of these resolutions have in common? They are all designed to make you happy, to make you feel better about yourself.
If you weigh less, you’ll feel better. If you have more money, you’ll feel better. If you read more, or take a trip, or do something daring, you will feel better. Some of these may in fact make others feel better about you too, but the real goal is that you feel better about yourself.
Now these are all certainly fine and laudable goals; but they are all temporary. Losing weight will make you feel better for a while, but you will either gain the weight back, or more likely desire to lose even more. Money in the bank is great, but the temptation to spend it will always be close by. Reading more and taking trips can be very rewarding, but they are temporary thrills at best.
There is in fact one thing that will make you happy, and it is guaranteed to work every time.
This year, resolve to forgive others.
Yes, that’s right, let go of the anger and bitterness and grudges that build up inside of you, and speak the words that will make you, and others, feel better. Forgive your brothers and sisters in Christ, just as freely and willingly as God has forgiven you.
Then you will truly be happy. You will no longer be bound by old arguments and disputes; you will no longer find yourself beholden to things that happened in the past. You will instead be able to go forth with a clean and sure conscience, knowing that you and your neighbor are at peace; peace with each other and at peace with God.
This year, resolve to speak the words ‘I forgive you’ more frequently; and be prepared to hear those words spoken back to you by others. If you do, 2017 will be a much better year for you and for all those around you.