Guest Editorial: Bah Humbug to New Year’s Resolutions!

I am a failure with New Year’s Resolutions.
Resolution: I will lose weight this year. Result: By March I have lost 10 pounds; by December I have gained 20 pounds. If I do this every year for 10 years… well, you do the math.
Resolution: I will exercise every day… Ok, three times a week… (Sigh)… Ok, I walk A LOT at work.
I do know someone who kept a resolution once; my husband Sid resolved to read the entire Bible while on submarine patrol. He read a book a day. And he did it! Of course, he WAS in an enclosed capsule with no other distractions and no place to go, but I digress.
We are imperfect humans, but we still strive and hope for that perfection, that success, that pinnacle of completion. We hit and miss every day. It can be discouraging. It can lead to the attitude, “Why even try?”
This is why we try: “But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, His Son, cleanses us from all sin” (I John 1:7 NIV).
I took Greek for two years at Lubbock Christian College (now University). There were several enlightening moments in that class, and this was one of them: In I John 1:7 the verb “walk” in Greek is first person plural present subjunctive mood. What?! This means John is expressing a probability; he is making an assertion about which there is some doubt (subjunctive), but it is still in motion (present), so the outcome has not been determined yet. You and I are walking in the light, day by day, experiencing hits and misses, successes and failures. But we are trying, even if it seems we take one step forward and two steps back.
Another major verb in I John 1:7 is “cleanses.” In Greek, this verb is third person singular present active indicative. Translation: John is declaring this as a truth (indicative mood), it is continually happening to us (active), and it is still in motion (present). If we walk in the light, day by day, experiencing hits and misses, successes and failures, we are being continually cleansed by the blood of Jesus. If I make a resolution to not lose my temper in 2018, and lose it on January 10th, I am not a failure. I pray for forgiveness, I keep trying to walk in the light, and I have the assurance that Jesus’ blood is there for me.
One more thing, and it has nothing to do with grammar (Hallelujah!): John says if we walk in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus cleanses us. In other words, we are all in this together! So encourage one another, pull one another along through those failures, rejoice with one another’s successes – we can do this!
The key concept is motion. In the words of the irrepressible Dory from the Disney movie “Finding Nemo,” “Just keep swimmin’!”

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