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Christian Union: The Magazine
January 5, 2022

"Resolutions Don’t Honor the Way Change Usually Happens"

We are just about two weeks into 2022—how is your new year’s resolution going? For some, it might be thriving—a necessary and welcome change in your life—but for most, the sparkle of resolutions on January 1 quickly dim as we head back to work and into a new year of the same challenges.

Rather than condemning ourselves for our lack of self-control or our ability to change overnight, perhaps we need to rethink the basic assumptions behind resolutions. Perhaps, as Justin Whitmel Earley suggests, we need to seek to form new habits that are able to endure not only into the middle of 2022 but into the rest of our lives.

Earley, a lawyer, author and speaker from Richmond, Virginia, argues that "resolutions...don't honor the way change usually happens." Change happens, not with resolutions, but "through small, incremental, growth in community. What we need is habits.”

All Christians need spiritual habits that shape them in the way of Christ. The idea of spiritual habits might lead us to think about daily prayer and scripture reading, attending church regularly, tithing, or other foundational elements of Christian life. But Earley goes past the fundamentals and into a secondary level of Christian formation.

Earley’s habits dig into the daily rhythms of our lives where we go to work, eat meals with our families or roommates, deepen friendships, stare at our phones, and fill our free time. It is in these spaces that Earley wants us to become more aware of how we spend our minutes and hours and how we think about the necessity of Christian community in our lives. Earley lays out a worksheet for individuals and families to make a plan to help form new habits for the long term. 

Christian Union is deeply committed to the development of spiritual disciplines in believers. From the organization's foundation of seeking God to providing regular times for fasting and corporate prayer, Christian Union wants to see all Christians flourishing in habits that will daily transform them into the image of Christ. 

Read the full article here.

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