Over the past week or so, I’ve been trying to think of some New Year’s resolutions. As hard as I tried, I couldn’t think of anything I wanted to change. I like my life the way it is. My wife could probably give me 100 ideas, but I haven’t finished the last list she gave me.
I do have a list for other people, though. If only they would follow my resolutions, my life, and maybe yours, would improve. So here are my 10 New Year’s Resolutions for everyone but me:
1. You resolve to stop texting and Facebooking people who are standing in the same room as you are. While you’re at it, don’t look at your phone every time it buzzes, vibrates, chirps or tweets while we’re talking. That’s just rude.
2. You resolve to find the answer to the age-old question, “Who let the dogs out?” so you’ll quit asking me. And if you insist on asking the question, you don’t need to make barking sounds.
3. You resolve to spend some time with neglected children, especially your own. Just because you gave your children a pet for Christmas doesn’t mean they don’t still need you.
4. You resolve to return your shopping cart to the shopping cart rack instead of leaving it in the empty parking spot next to you. While you’re at it, you resolve to keep from throwing dirty baby diapers out of your car window into the same spot. You know who you are, and yes, I got your license plate number.
5. You resolve to learn how to count to 10. That way I won’t have to do it for you when you’re standing in front of me at the “10 Items or Fewer” checkout counter. The sign doesn’t say “Somewhere in the Vicinity of 10.” And yes, I do count the items in your cart.
6. You resolve to use your vehicle’s turn signals in the appropriate manner. If you’re going to make a turn, use them; if not, turn them off. Christmas is over. There’s no other reason for you to ride around with a red light blinking on your car. And if I ask you if my turn signals are working, don’t say, “Yes, they are . . . no, they’re not … yes, they are … no, they’re not.”
7. You resolve to stop moving your jaw as your only form of exercise. And being a part of the human race doesn’t count, either. You resolve to quit blaming your clothes dryer for your tight-fitting clothes. You resolve to exercise your mind, heart, body and spirit. Just remember: a good exercise program will convert fats, sugars and starches into aches, pains and cramps.
8. You resolve to quit calling your skinny jeans “skinny jeans,” especially if you don’t have any skinny genes.
9. You resolve to keep from talking loudly on your cell phone in public. We don’t need to hear about Uncle Jim’s gout, Aunt Betty’s rheumatoid arthritis and that you have a doctor’s appointment next week.
10. You resolve not to wear more than one Duck Dynasty item at time. I like Duck Dynasty as much as the next guy, but you don’t need to walk around looking like a Duck Dynasty display rack. We already know you have everything from socks and shirts to hats. The only thing you don’t have is a Duck Dynasty duck call.
A thought came to mind while I was graciously helping others out with their New Year’s resolutions: Jesus never gave us a New Year’s resolution list, but He did give us commandments. A resolution is just an attempt to live life a little better, but a commandment is a mandate or an edict to help us live a life pleasing to Jesus.
In John 13:34-35, Jesus give us one of His mandates: “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this, everyone will know that you are My disciples, if you love one another.” I need to ask God to teach me how to love more like Jesus.
Lord, while I was pointing out everybody else’s short comings, your Holy Spirit was showing me mine. And to make matters worse, you brought to mind Matt. 7:3: “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?”
Lord, I hear You. But while You’re working on people, could you speak to that guy who leaves his shopping cart in the empty space next to his car? If You did, it would help me to love him … faster.