I have a gift. I really do. I have the gift of making New Year’s resolutions for other people, although I’m no good at making them for myself. Like other spiritual gifts, God must give this one to an individual to bless the masses. So here are your resolutions for next year:

  1. I resolve not to pick my nose in the car. I don’t know how many times I’ve pulled up alongside another car and seen someone picking their nose. You know who you are. You may have tinted windows, but they’re not that tinted. Next time, I’ll take your picture and post it on Facebook to see if anyone in your church recognizes you. And I’ll only take it down if you give something to missions.
  2. I resolve not to buy anything off an infomercial after midnight. Advertisers run those late at night because they know you’re brain-dead and they can convince you that using lip balm will cure toe fungus. Of course, it won’t, but after midnight, you can convince almost anybody of anything. And if you watch long enough, you’ll get not only one but two if you call within the next 15 minutes. Save your money and give it to missionaries who have real toe fungus.
  3. I resolve not to pay a king’s ransom for a cup of coffee. When I was growing up, we got coffee at our local diner for ten cents, and that included free refills. It came with a gum-smacking waitress, but that was just part of life. No one complained about it, and we didn’t need coffee that been processed through a cougar or any other animal. Coffee was just coffee. Do yourself a favor: Get a bag of coffee from your local grocery store and print out a fancy label for it. No one will know the difference. Give the money you save to those who work with indigenous people groups. The satisfaction will last much longer than any cup of coffee.
  4. I resolve to fill my water bottle from the tap. This may be an old man’s rant, but when did we get so sophisticated that we can’t drink the water that comes out of the faucet? I’ve done it all my life, and it hasn’t killed me yet. If you want to save the planet, tell people about Jesus first and then refill your bottle with tap water. If you do this, do you know how much better our world will be? Besides, you’ll have more money to give to missionaries who dig wells for those who don’t have clean water.
  5. I resolve not to be controlled by the “ding” on my phone. We once had the “Lord of the Rings;” now we have the “Lord of the Dings.” I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been having a conversation with someone when their phone dinged. They quit looking at me, pulled out their phone, checked to see who texted them and replied to the text, all while I was still trying to talk to them. May we should change our prayers to, “Our Father, which dings in heaven.” If you hear His ding, you might not only give more to missions, but you might find yourself going as well.
  6. I resolve to eat the Third-World Diet for one year. Find a diet partner in a third-world country and have him share his menu for the day: a cup of rice in the morning, nothing for lunch and, if he’s fortunate, another cup of rice with a piece of chicken in it for dinner. Whatever he eats, you eat. You’ll come away from this experience with at least three things. First, you’ll lose weight. Second, you’ll gain a burden for the plight of hungry people around the world. And third, you’ll save enough money to help send food to your new friend.
  7. I will resolve to find something I can live without and give the money to missions instead. I don’t know if you know this or not, but believers spend more money on dog food than we give to missions. I’m not asking you to take food away from your dog, but is there something you could give up for one year that you could invest in the Kingdom? If every believer gave up even a box of Ding Dongs, we could build hospitals and start schools across the world.

I’ve done it again. As I wrote these resolutions for you, somehow the Holy Spirit tricked me into feeling convicted about these same things. Maybe these would make great New Year’s resolutions for all of us.

Happy New Year, and don’t forget to give to the work of those who serve around the world in Jesus’ name.