Promises Promises

I still enjoy setting New Year’s resolutions. There is something about the fresh start of new goals. I take my resolutions seriously, but also recognize that setting a path doesn’t guarantee that I will take that path, as demonstrated by a few of my unreached resolutions from 2008.

A good example of this is an article at WebMD from earlier this week about how virginity pledges made no difference in whether or not teens were going to have sex before marriage (82% of the pledgers denied ever having taken the pledge!). I don’t want to try and do a full critique of celibacy campaigns like True Love Waits, but it does demonstrate that if we want to live a life of integrity, we need more than a promise.

I don’t avoid adultery simply because it is wrong.  It’s not enough to just know that it is wrong, and it never has been. This is why  Paul says in Romans 8 that the law could never bring us wholeness.  I love the way Peterson translates verse 4:

The law always ended up being used as a Band-Aid on sin instead of a deep healing of it. And now what the law code asked for but we couldn’t deliver is accomplished as we, instead of redoubling our own efforts, simply embrace what the Spirit is doing in us.

So I’m planning on making new resolutions for 2009, but I am more aware of my need for the Spirit to bear fruit in me. The work of the Spirit gives my resolutions meaning and power, both of which I lack on my own.

4 thoughts on “Promises Promises

  1. I was searching the web for some Romans 8 study questions for my church home group when your blog appeared due to your astute Romans 8 observations. I enjoyed your comments, your perspective, and your reading list. My son has just been accepted to Belmont University in the fall in the music business department. He is a true God worshipper and wants to get connected in a church quickly. Any recommendations?

    Diane (John’s mom in Austin, TX)

  2. Hello Diane,
    Thanks for the comments! I hesitate to recommend one church community over another, when my experience is limited. Plus, I don’t know John’s background and what denomination is most familiar to him. In light of those limitations, take the following with a grain of salt. These aren’t necessarily suggestions, but here are a few that I’ve heard good things about here and there.

    Cross Point Church – A non-denom church downtown. Heard good stuff… Plus, it’s not far from Belmont.
    Belmont Church – A charismatic church near the school.
    St. Bartholemew’s – An Anglican church south of downtown.

    Hope that helps a little!

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