Well, I am sure many people made New Year's Resolutions and many of those have already been broken, but I have a resolution that I think EVERYONE should make this year. I think it would make a great difference in each of us and in our respective churches if we would simply make it a goal to practice Micah 6:8: "What does the Lord require of you? To act justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God."
With our sagging economy, there will be many people who try to cut corners. Using inferior materials to complete jobs that were bid with better materials, taking things from the office for home use, and misrepresenting how much money was made on your income tax form are just a few of the things I believe will happen this year. This is not following the Lord's command to "act justly." We have to be better than that. While the old adage is "honesty is the best policy" as Christians it should be "honesty is the ONLY policy." It is what is required to act justly.
The second thing we need to do is love mercy. The Hebrew word used here is a rich one, translated in other places as "tender mercies," "lovingkindness," and "steadfast love." It is a word most often used in a covenantal sense. In relation to God's mercy, it is used most often of His grace, or of unexpected kindness. We don't tend to love mercy. We don't value kindness. We return rudeness with rudeness. We allow opportunities to show kindness to pass us by. When we should be gentle with others, we are harsh. This is not what we are expected (no make that required) to do. We are instead required to love mercy.
The first two things God requires have to do with how we behave toward one another. The final one,"walk humbly with your God" shows that He expects us to have a right relationship with Him. That relationship begins with humility and not arrogance. God expects us to walk humbly with Him. Easy task, but hard to make it a reality. We are proud. We tend to think that God's role is to make us happy, to serve us, and to answer our prayers. But it is we who are to serve and glorify God.
So, what does God want from us this year? Not that much really. Simply to act justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with Him!