We are all still hoping that 2021 will be a better year. This is the year as many other years, you might be aspiring for goals like getting a better job, improving your health or buying a house. Lots of singles have resolved on finding and cultivating a romantic relationship that will lead to more. After all, research shows that happily married couples are better off in almost all dimensions.
All the above goals are valuable and worthy of serious, consistent effort and can be summarized in four words: ‘Have a better life‘. We all want that for ourselves and God wants us to have a better life.
…I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. (John 10:10 NKJV)
The different type of resolution I am talking about is not directly about ourselves. It is about giving yourself (time / energy / money) to help the less fortunate and poor. There are a number of possibilities like:
- Sponsoring a child (https://www.compassionuk.org/, https://www.limuk.org/)
- Volunteering at a homeless shelter / donating food (https://www.barnabus-manchester.org.uk/)
- Mentoring a child from a difficult background (https://safefamilies.uk/)
- Donating to an orphanage (https://www.orphanspromise.org/)
- Being part of a prison ministry through a local church.
So, in essence it is about making someone else’s life better this year and it is a long-term resolution that has an eternal impact.
If you are already extending yourself this way, you will have noticed that it actually makes your own life better. Unsurprising, as the Bible says:
…’It is more blessed to give than to receive’ (Acts 20:35 ESV)
As a Christian single, your state in this season will likely have conferred the opportunity to give more of your time, energy or money to rewrite the story of another person’s life and your own through it.
There are 7 specific blessings promised in Psalm 41 to those who give to the poor:
Blessed is he who considers the poor;
The Lord will deliver him in time of trouble.
The Lord will preserve him and keep him alive,
And he will be blessed on the earth;
You will not deliver him to the will of his enemies.
The Lord will strengthen him on his bed of illness;
You will sustain him on his sickbed (Psalm 41 1-3 NKJV).
Over time, choosing to consider the poor in Christ name means choosing to be blessed.
“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’… “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ Matthew 25:34-40 (NIV)
But it is a choice that requires sacrifice.
The idealistic among you will be saying that we should not give for hope of a reward.
Jesus Christ himself looked forward to the reward.
“Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross…” (Hebrews 12:2 NIV).
Our lives reflect Christ when we practice sacrificial and Biblical giving.
There a lot of secular charities doing wonderful humanitarian work. However, the humanist and the politician are often driven by romantic idealism. So, it is absolutely essential that we do our good works through the local church first and when that’s not possible, through time-tested Christian organisations.
Our resolve should always be to lead people to Christ. When the tears stop and the rainbow appears, the dots will be connected between your gift and the source giver who is Christ.
The injustice of poverty and the losses of those trapped in the shadows of life in a broken world are real. Equally real, and exponentially more powerful are the greater plans of Christ when the Holy Spirit is given space to work His will through you. As a single Christian you are gifted with the opportunity to be that channel.
The word says that single people have more freedom to devote themselves to the things of the Lord than married people do. (1 Corinthians 7:32)
A different type of resolution? … …it’s more a celebration and marriage of your singlehood with the freedom it presents.