Upside Down Resolution
One of the most common New Year’s resolutions is to lose weight. Mine is to gain weight. I encourage you to resolve the same thing.
In the 2001 film A Knight’s Tale the antagonist, Count Adhemar, taunts the protagonist, William Thatcher (posing as Sir Ulrich von Lichtenstein), with the following words after defeating him in the joust:
“Gain more bearing, Ulrich. See me when you are worthy.”
Count Adhemar considers “Sir Ulrich” beneath him…a lightweight, unworthy of nobility.
He later emphasizes the sentiment twice more with a paraphrase of God’s message to King Belshazzar in Daniel 5:27:
“You have been weighed, you have been measured, and you have been found wanting.”
As I consider my life and the life of our church body, I never want the Lord to weigh us and find us wanting. I never want to lack gravitas as a follower of Christ, and I never want Real Life to be a shallow, lightweight church. I want to do all I can, and I want us together to do all we can, to gain spiritual weight.
American Christianity has largely drifted into a morass of hollow catchphrases, shallow moralism, and empty therapeutic self-help maxims. We have created a religion that uses Christian terms but trades the wonder of eternity for earth-bound priorities. This presents an appearance of godliness but lacks any real power to change lives (2 Timothy 3:5). We have become so consumed with avoiding or alleviating any temporal suffering that we have forfeited the greater eternal glory such suffering brings (2 Corinthians 4:17).
We have lost weight.
As we enter this new year, may we resolve to gain the weight of glory that God has in store for us through increasing discipleship and maturity, which inevitably require hardship, struggle, pain, and discipline. May we not hide behind a trite claim to “the simple gospel” as an excuse not to grow deeper in the faith. May we not settle for a walk with Christ that is the same today as it was last year or five years ago. May we not settle for a spiritual diet of milk when growing dictates a diet of meat (1 Cor. 3:1-3, Hebrews 5:11-14).
In order to do this, we must focus our minds past comfort, security, health, entertainment, or social ills; we must focus our minds on eternal things…the weighty things of the reality of Christ, not the transitory things of this passing life (Colossians 3:1-17). We must discipline ourselves to think spiritually, with the mind of Christ, empowered by His Holy Spirit (Proverbs 3:5-6; Romans 8:6, 12:2; 1 Cor. 2:14-16, 10:5; Philippians 2:5). We must daily choose to put the flesh to death, actively thinking of ourselves as dead to sin and alive to Christ (Ro. 6:11-14, 8:13). As we meditate on God’s Word, take it to heart, love it, and live it out in our everyday experiences, we develop deep roots and become more and more like the Master (Psalm 1:1-6, 119:11, 119:127; James 1:22, Luke 6:40).
Let us not waste time with the foolish and empty values of this world; rather, let us develop a weighty discipleship that is never found wanting as we reflect the reality of Christ through relationships. That is a resolution worth keeping.