It is the end of the first month of 2017, and many resolutions that were freshly displayed January 1 on our refrigerator or desk have been removed, abandoned or deemed too difficult. We have told ourselves, “No, I can’t exercise three times per week. No, I can’t save more. No, I can’t stick to a new diet. No, I definitely can’t use social media less.” Our desires to do something new when another year rolls around are well intended but often go by the wayside.
- Exercise 3x a week. Too hard.
- Save more. Not enough money.
- Start and stay on a diet. I tried.
- Read more. No time.
- Use social media less. No way.
So this year, I have decided to not type a list of resolutions for 2017 because that’s what the radio and TV personalities tell me to do or because Target sells a trendy looking journal in which to write them. Instead of making a list of hopes and desires with no action behind them, I challenge myself to focus on the true meaning of resolution—a decision to behave in a certain way.
Former President Barack Obama stated in his final speech: “For many of us, it’s become safer to retreat into our own bubbles, whether in our neighborhoods or on college campuses or places of worship or especially our social media feeds, surrounded by people who look like us and share the same political outlook and never challenge our assumptions.”
“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son of the Holy Spirit.” –Matthew 28:19
I don’t think it means to only make disciples of those in which I am comfortable interacting. How can the Great Commission be truly fulfilled if we never exit the bubble? So, join me in being resolute in saying “yes” to God in 2017 and stepping out of the bubble. Say yes to stepping out of the bubble and starting up a conversation with someone in the Starbucks line. Say yes to speaking to the person in the hall whose hair or clothing looks different than your own. Say yes to sitting with or near someone you do not know or seeking to understand another person’s experience or viewpoint.
Will this be risky or uncomfortable at times? Yes, but in prayer remember the following verses:
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” —Philippians 4:6
“Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” —Joshua 1:9
Written by Andrea Pope-Smith, Instructor of Sociology