Your Most Courageous Resolution for 2014

Pursue love. (1 Corinthians 14:1) Resolutions are good things. They're biblical: "may [God] fulfill every resolve for good" (2 Thessalonians 1:11). And I think developing New Year's resolutions is a very good idea. A year is a defined timeframe long enough to make progress on difficult things and short enough to provide some incentive to keep moving.

A resolve is not a vague intention, like "one of these days I'm going to get that garage cleaned" or "I'm going to read the Bible through this year," but without any clear plan to do it. Resolves are intentions with strategies attached to them. You don't just hope something is going to happen; you are planning to make it happen. To be resolved is to be determined.

Make Love Your Aim

But resolves can either be rooted in our selfish ambitions or in the love of God. We must think them through carefully. So as we make our resolutions for 2014, God wants them to all serve this one great end: "pursue love" (1 Corinthians 14:1).

"Pursue" is a very purposeful word. The Greek verb has an intensity to it. It means to "seek after eagerly," like a runner in a race seeks eagerly to win a prize.

The RSV's translation of this phrase is clearer: "Make love your aim." It has a sense of single-minded focus to it. The NIV falls short: "Follow the way of love." It has no edge to it. It sounds like a platitude that the most polite company could smile and nod to without feeling unnerved. It does not capture Paul's intensity.

No, this is an aggressive verb. In fact, it can mean to "pursue with hostile intent." That's why in the New Testament, it is frequently used to mean persecuting or harassing someone.

[Read the rest of the article at Desiring God.]