I’ve never been much of a fan of New Year’s resolutions. My observations and experience have been that these resolutions are futile attempts to improve one’s life whether health-wise, spiritually, socially, financially, or any number of different areas of life. Then condemnation may set in after one misses one or two marks on their journey to improvement, and ultimately the whole plan falls through and leaves us with feelings of failure and perhaps returning to a worse, more reckless condition than we were before we made the resolution.
No doubt there are people who remain faithful to their resolutions, but it seems many of these attempts are doomed to fail because we raise the bar too high for ourselves. Perhaps it is even a form of legalism when we put this kind of yoke upon ourselves, instead of resting in the grace of God and striving toward glorifying Christ in whatever we do. In fact, this is what we find in Romans 8:12-17:
So then, brothers, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. 13 For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. 14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. 15 For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” 16 The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.”
We are not, then, slaves of our flesh or slaves of oftentimes arbitrary, overly high expectations, or resolutions. Biblical examination is a good thing, and I have no issue with anyone who challenges themselves with New Year’s Resolutions, I just think we need to be careful and wise with how we make and apply these resolutions.
Now, what does this have to do with 2012 reading goals? Well, a weakness I have is not being able to finish a book before starting another. I have a bad habit of reading several books at a time – not that this is bad necessarily, I just get delayed in finishing these books. My desire is to be more diligent in reading one book at a time so I can be most edified with what I am reading. In 2011, I may have picked up half a dozen books to read, but only finished three! (Slave; Gospel-Powered Parenting; Family Worship).
So the following list is my reading goal for 2012. I say goals because this will merely be what I am aiming for, but I am making no promise to complete them. I hope by a more disciplined, daily reading schedule, I will be able to complete all of these books. If I don’t meet my goals, I’ll simply examine how to improve for next year and just continue on my way to read to the glory of God.
2012 Book List
- The World Tilting Gospel by Dan Phillips (halfway through this book now)
- The Attributes of God by A.W. Pink
- The Mortification of Sin by John Owen
- The Beauty and Glory of Christ by Richard Phillips
- Unless You Repent by Jonathan Edwards
- The Gospel Is for Christians by Mitchell Chase
This list will also be helpful for me to stay on track with my larger reading plan, which can be found on my Amazon Wishlist. I love book recommendations and am thankful for free books, but if I accept and read every book every person suggests or gives me, I’ll never get to the books I have a great desire to read.
So what are your reading goals for 2012? Do you have particular books in mind that you’d like to read this year? If not, maybe you will find a book of interest on my Amazon Wishlist. Perhaps your reading list would be helpful to others here, including myself, so please comment below. Looking forward to reading your goals!