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Many people will begin today with a commitment to the “list.” These New Year’s resolutions are generally birthed with right motives and start out with strong enthusiasm. Some stick, while others fall by the wayside because they were too ambitious or we could not sustain the momentum. Then the guilt follows.

Would you let me recommend a slightly different approach? What if you started with a plan instead of a list? What if our commitment was based more on principle than on specific items. Although not diminishing the benefit of having genuine goals, I have noticed that it tends to work out better for me if the commitment leads to a lifestyle change rather than simply being able to check off something from a list.

With that in mind, consider the plan that James MacDonald has put together in his new book Downpour (Broadman & Holman). The purpose of the book is to encourage personal revival. The five-point plan is easy to remember and has strong potential to bring about significant spiritual growth. Consider adopting it as an alternative to the same old “resolutions” idea. Here is his five-point plan:

  1. God on the Throne
  2. Sin in the Mirror
  3. Self in the Dirt
  4. Christ on the Cross
  5. Spirit in Control

“Blessed is the man who fears the Lord, who finds great delight in his commands. His children will be mighty in the land; the generation of the upright will be blessed.” (Psalm 112: 1, 2)

served as the president of The Foursquare Church from 2009-2020.