What an awesome word. It means to, “Decide firmly on a course of action.” From it, we get words like resolute and resolution. I’ve been thinking a lot about the idea behind the word resolve as the New Year has come.
With the New Year, people make plans to change their lives, presumably for the better. We see those areas that we don’t like and decide to change them, often without a plan or course of action to achieve what was set. We forget the true meaning of the word and, in essence, what it takes to change.
We must stand firm when it would be far easier to bend or give into the desires of our flesh. When the storms are raging, we must stand for something. In the words of the immortal country song, “You’ve got to stand for something or you’ll fall for anything!”
Rather than setting a bunch of unreasonable expectations on the 1st of each year, I suggest you find what you believe in and stand firm. Do not waiver to the right or the left. Resolve to fight for the innocent, for those who have no voice. Decide to take up a standard and shine a light in the darkness. Decide today. Don’t wait for tomorrow or the first of the month. Resolve doesn’t require a date on a calendar, it requires a decided heart to carry through to the very end.
There will be opposition. When it comes, if you aren’t completely persuaded to stand, you will fall. People will attack your intelligence simply because they don’t agree with your position. Be resolute! Stand firm as the battle rages. I think of the scene from the movie Dances With Wolves where Kevin Costner’s character rides across a battle field while bullets fly past him on all sides. He mocked the opposing forces as he rode across their lines, not once, but twice. He had been wounded in battle but was determined to keep his leg, even if it might cost his life. His actions were rash and the consequences could have been dire, but he stood resolved to die with his boots on. His actions turned the tide of the fictitious battle and he kept his leg!
We need to be that bold! When the world comes against you and criticizes you, stand firm. Don’t bend to appease the masses. They are fickle and their opinion changes as often as the situations they find themselves in. The world needs people who aren’t afraid to stand apart. It needs people who can lead with resolve and conviction, with purpose and steadfastness of heart. It’s a scary place we find ourselves in when those who lead lack the ability to stand firm on a course of action.
One of the greatest things about this nation is the ability of the individual to be heard. Whether you agree with their opinion or not, they have a right to express it. Whether you agree with their position or not, you must honor the right the individual has to express their thoughts. My disagreeing with a person’s point of view or what an individual chooses to stand on doesn’t equate to hate. The different views coming together and finding a common interest, that’s what makes the country great.
About a month back, Christians united behind a man’s right to express his opinion. While many were respectful, some lacked the courage of their convictions. It never ceases to amaze me when I see the things that move the Christian ranks to action. We will stand upon the shoulders, or beards, of others, but rarely stand for the faith we claim to hold to. Though it does my heart good to see believers unite behind an idea, it saddens me to see the methods many use to show their faith.
When I look at Christ, He used a powerful weapon to breakdown the distrust of religion that had grown during His day. His love for the hurting, for the lonely and the lost, helped to rebuild a system that was in dire need of shaking. I wonder if we don’t find ourselves in a similar situation today. The Lord did not come for the healthy, He came for the sick and His message was one of love and forgiveness. His love established trust as He established a new system without letting go of the lessons of the old.
His love built a bridge that healed the broken hearted. His love inspired the hurting and the lost to change and see what could be if they would dare to believe. He didn’t hurl insults. He stood firmly upon His convictions. He lead with an uncommon resolve that guided a ragtag group of outcasts to follow in His footsteps and they carried on in His absence to change a world in need of that most effective tool any of us possess… Love.
So, considering all the arguments and disagreements raging in the world around us and within the church itself, I have come to a decision. I resolve to love. Not love as society would define it, but with the love that Christ Himself showed us. Through His example, we can change the world, if we will simply believe in the power love holds. With a pure love from a forgiven heart, not passing judgement on those around me, but seeking to see them through the eyes of Christ. I may disagree with you but that doesn’t mean you lack value. It means I have to look beyond the disagreement to see the potential within the heart and then offer the one thing that can mend the broken… Love.
“Love is patient and kind, not self seeking, not boastful, it doesn’t keep a record of wrong, it rejoices in the truth. Love never fails.” Think what a difference we could make if we loved the people around us like this, not just when they’re clean, but when they are dirty. Love never fails. You can gain the whole world, have everything your heart desires, people can follow you, but if you lack love, it means nothing. I resolve to love!