New Year resolutions often focus on personal betterment…increasing.  What if this year you resolved to decrease and not increase?  You may wonder: “What is Rob talking about?”  I don’t think I can take the time to type it out and besides, I hurt my finger playing floor hockey this week at a staff retreat.  But I do encourage you to listen to a message I gave on this very subject on January 3/4, 2009 at Beulah.  You can download or stream this message at once it is posted.

At the end of the message I listed some very practical ways to make this a year of decreasing GAIN.  Some have requested this list, so let me provide it here:

  1. Begin to do some good deeds anonymously and vow to yourself that you will tell nobody about them. Only you and God will know.
  2. Spend a week intentionally listening to how you speak about yourself or others. Take ten minutes at the end of each day to think about it. You might even track it in a journal. Here are some questions to consider: Do you put others down to make yourself look good? Do you spin stories to build yourself up? How do you respond to other people when they praise or blame you?
  3. Take a whole day and refrain from name-dropping or favoritism. When you favor others, you often do it for your own benefit. When you name-drop, it makes you look good.  Try to cut back.
  4. Intentionally perform one act that results in your downward mobility and allows somebody else to move upward. It should be something significant.  It should be something greater than taking a small piece of chicken so somebody else can have the bigger one.
  5. Take a sheet of paper and write down on one side all of your strengths of character (not your expertise or accomplishments). On the back side, write your weaknesses. Then pray, thanking God for who you are and asking him to give you the character you long to have.

May this be for all of us a year where we decrease.  May humility be the wardrobe of our character.

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